There’s at least one film in each one of us. For those of us who make it our vocation (not profession) there are many. Debutante director Sandeep Mohan’s done with his first. Indie, short, sweet and with a home-grown, quirky sense of humour, ‘Love, Wrinkle-free’ played at MAMI yesterday. And plays again tomorrow, 20th Oct at 12.45 pm, Cinemax, Sion.
The film is about a middle-aged couple struggling with middle-age issues. The passing of youth, the wilting of relationships under the dryness of everyday living. The excitement of finding new love and all that it affirms about oneself. Well, it’s not half as serious as all this sounds, but lightly touches all these ‘deeper’ strains with a certain idiosyncrasy. Then there are crooks and fools in love making the capering continuously ticklish.
Watch the trailer to get a glimpse of what I am saying.
We rant enough about how difficult it is to make any movie, leave alone the one you want to make. Sandeep found that out first hand too and then simply decided to drop everything and make his films one way or the other. No he didn’t rob a bank. He simply, “Spent close to a year trying to raise funds – made couple of wrong moves. Learned and moved on.”
To finally find funding. “Giju John and Kamal Shah came along to help. Giju is a childhood friend. Totally trusted me. We managed to rope in close to 30 more friends (in a crowd funding of sorts!) to put in whatever they could.” It not only sounds difficult but we all know how much passion and conviction is required to convince someone to part with pennies for a film. Film! A form which has been reduced to little more than nautanki these days. Why would anyone bother with it unless the ones making it had ‘it’ in them to want to go beyond?
The film took two years to evolve from idea to image. The script was fleshed out over a period of 3-4 months. And the film completed within 22 days, within schedule, fully shot in Goa. Extended reading sessions happened with each one of them. And from there on the experienced folks took off well. As said here, “The film boasts of some good performances from the ensemble!”
Sandeep’s pre-prod office and editing studio was his own house. “So in essence this is a Vikhroli West movie as opposed to an Andheri west movie” he jests.
Cutting costs was of course, primary. No AD for entire post-production. But ensured actors were well-taken care of. “We gave the actors whatever we could. But once they realised what we were attempting, they became part of this journey, and it was smooth going.”
Indie, from start-to-finish and not just for the sake of it. That’s refreshing. Independent not only in thought but action. Not only what it creates but how. A healthy mix of both is probably the whopping leap our cinema needs to take.
This route was and wasn’t a choice for Sandeep. If you want to do something you got to get out there and find ways to do it. He had no choice but that and hence willingly made that choice.
“It all evolved after my father passed away 3 years back. His death taught me that we are not here for ever. I could just conk off one day complaining that I never made a movie. So went ahead, worked hard, didn’t complain, respected actors and crew members, restrained myself even when I got angry at times, and grew as a human being and as a filmmaker through this last 2 years.”
Every such film is a labour of love, some maybe more than the others. What matters in the end is the intention and effort. The applause then, becomes so much more sweeter.
In Sandeep’s words – “The film truly represents the indie spirit – and I hope more such films get made – the idea being not to wait for anyone to come and help me, but to go ahead and do it.”
MAMI is the World Fest Premiere of Love, Wrinkle-free. After that, it is SAIFF in New York where the film is scheduled to be screened on the 11th of November. Meanwhile, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, catch it on 20th Oct at 12.45 pm Cinemax Sion.
Let’s show some love to the spirit of indie cinema.