By Hindustan Times
Three and a half years after Acid Factory (2009), writer-director Suparn Verma is returning with Aatma. While the film has managed to see good buzz building around itself on a gradual note, D-day is less than 24 hours away. With good confidence being the forte of this journalist turned
writer-director, Suparn gets talking about his third directorial outing.
The film claims to be redefining the horror genre. Quite a bold statement to be made, isn't it?
In my own opinion, I have achieved what I had to set out to do. Frankly, it is now on audience to pass its verdict. I can say for sure that horror genre won't be the same after Aatma. When you see the film, you would realize that. See, it is a very honest film. Usually what we do is that if it is a horror film, we just concentrate on creating fear. However in Aatma, you would be connected to the characters. You would come out of the theatre with tears while also being scared. That itself is a huge achievement.
Apparently in a special screening for women, quite a few indeed came out crying.
You have heard it right. This is a film with a huge emotional connect. The women who saw the film were sobbing their hearts out. Bipasha was seeing their reactions and just standing quiet in a corner. These women just went to her and hugged her. This is a film that every woman must watch since each one of them has faced some or the other kind of discrimination in life. This is the reason why they would empathize with Bipasha so much. After all, every woman has a mother in her heart. Aatma as an emotionally charged film.
However for you, was it a case of anti-casting to rope in someone like Bipasha as a mother? What made you feel so that she would be able to shrug off her glamorous image and justify a part like this?
It wasn't a tough casting decision at all. She is the most awesome looking mother that you can have. She has love in her eyes. In the film she has tapped that side of hers which even she didn't know she had. Just look at the glow on her face; isn't she beautiful? I had never any doubts about Bipasha. In fact she was almost a part of Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena and Acid Factory but due to certain reasons, that didn't work out.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui definitely seems to be a case of anti-casting.
Well, as for Nawaz, I wanted the most brilliant actor in the country who didn't have any set image. I didn't want audience to start predicting about a character just because an actor has been doing certain kind of roles. This way, I could manipulate and create feelings with Nawaz. Our hearts connected from Day One. We were emotionally naked there and then.
Still, didn't you miss your buddy Fardeen (Khan) who was with you on both the films?
I missed Fardeen. Having said that, Aatma is a totally different film from the ones where Fardeen featured. We have been touch for long though. Our love for each other hasn't diminished. He would be seeing the film today.
While audience at large watches the film tomorrow, in this film too have you come up with a cutting edge treatment, considering your good eye for visuals?
I have gone to the next level. For Aatma, I wanted a European look with a right texture. Usually in horror films, you see colours in a certain way. I wanted to change those aesthetics. I have a keen eye for production design and here again you would see something very unique, be it editing pattern, sound design or cinematography. You would be stunned as all of it would make a mark in a big way.
Your big film supposedly boasts of a very short duration.
Yes, it is just a shade over 90 minutes.
Meanwhile how big a break are you looking for when it comes to your fourth directorial affair? After all, you have taken long breaks between your films so far.
See, it is easier to make a film faster when you go with the flow and choose a subject that market demands from you. However when you want to do something where you have a personal belief attached, it is better to wait. All this while, I was sitting and writing my scripts and also travelled a lot. I started working on Aatma only when I had a bound script in hand. I have spent a year and a half making the film right from the time of scripting to casting to putting together the final cut. Hopefully there would be smaller gaps for my next film. However, even if it takes a year and a half, I am okay as long as the film is exciting.