Exclusive: Chandni Bar turns 19: Madhur Bhandarkar reveals, ‘Delivering video cassettes to bar girls, gangsters helped me reach that milieu’

Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the country. His films speak volumes about his outlook and the way he takes to his filmmaking craft! Bhandarkar’s adept way of handling emotions and complex situations and his approach towards the very semiotics of it, is in its own way unique. Something that couldn’t be emulated by any of his contemporaries.

The filmmaker who is best known for his blunt narrative is also most of the times criticised for it. The forthright representation of the times we live in is a characteristic that draws the attention of his admirers and his detractors alike. Today as one of his milestone cinema Chandni Bar completes 19 years, we at BusinessUpturn.com exclusively got in touch with the filmmaker and he recalled how Tabu [who by then was an established actress] gave herself unto his vision without any inhibition.

Madhur told us, Tabu is a director’s actress and she submits herself unto the vision of the director. I was very new at that point in time, she had already worked with renowned filmmakers before but nevertheless, she trusted me completely,” he said.

The director further ruminated about how practiced Tabu was, as an actor, “For the initial few days, she observed my working style and after that, she used to exactly do what I used to tell her. Well, when it comes to someone who is as seasoned as Tabu, it just takes a few days to observe whether the director has the mettle or not, after that initial phase she just followed me, no questions asked,” mulled Madhur.

The names of the characters in the film too are so realistic and not in the least ‘filmy’. Tabu’s character is Mumtaz, she is also called ‘Mummu’ lovingly in the film, Atul Kulkarni played the role of ‘Pothya Bhai’. If one is a Mumbaikar and is well versed with the city, one would be pretty familiar with such names, the director feels it was because he belonged to the maximum city and he knew the nerve of it, he could come up with the names, “I have been a video cassette library boy. I have delivered video cassettes to the doorsteps of people who hailed from different sections of the society. From bar girls, to clients from the corporate world, from people from Bollywood to gangsters and slum dwellers. I have known that milieu and hence while I was etching the characters of the film, it was as though I was sleepwalking,” he concluded.

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