The Interview: Shakun Batra On Gehraiyaan, Layered Characters, And Storytelling

With a knack of bringing one of the most most heart-broken truths about human complexity on hide through compelling tales, movie-maker Shakun Batra talks acceptance, connection, and ceaselessly finding a technique to discuss his thoughts 

Opinion to be one of my accepted scenes of a Shakun Batra movie is from Kapoor & Sons, wherein Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajat Kapoor quarrel in front of a plumber. They upright don’t care about their image in front of an outsider, and most families are cherish this and possess witnessed one thing equivalent of their lives, including mine. Batra, with his alive to observation, is ready to showcase such glimpses of reality in his films. As the field awaits with bated breath his original movie. Gehraiyaan, the trailer of which has taken the safe by a storm, we sit down with the movie-maker about lifestyles’s messiness, crossroads, and all that maketh a poke of a movie.


Gehraaiyaan’s trailer ends with the road, ‘Are we upright messed up folk? Haan Shayad.’ Form you also negate that?

I deem we all hasten through diversified waves in our lifestyles. There is continuously a part of us that is messy. I deem the phrase ‘messed up’ has a detrimental connotation, nonetheless I negate that we all are messed up someplace, and we would favor to settle for that. Ought to you hasten through sure things, your messy aspect comes out. You doubtlessly can’t support it, and likewise you open to settle for it. So, all people appears to be like to be on that spectrum, and all people appears to be like to be messed up. It’s a long way upright about accepting how messed up it is probably you’ll perchance even be.

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

I be taught this tweet that mentioned: How a Karan Johar movie had ‘pyaar dosti hai’, and likewise you went ahead and made Ek Critical Aur Ekk Tu. Then his movie had ‘it is all about loving your fogeys’, and likewise you made Kapoor & Sons. His movie then had the theme of infidelity, and likewise you made Gehraiyaan.

 (laughs) You’ll probably be making it sound cherish I’m making anti-Dharma movies. You know, the humorous thing is that Karan and I are drawn to the a linked tales. I’m exploring equivalent themed tales that he did a decade sooner than me. Both of our movies are place in a equivalent world, wherein characters address equivalent points, milieus, friendships, infidelity, family, and unrequited adore. It’s upright that we made it at assorted aspects in time, and our aspects of negate are very assorted. Our tones, views, and pitches vary, which will probably be why Karan and I connect so smartly. We are continuously angry by the a linked idea, then I hasten and write, which is often 180 levels from what has been carried out sooner than. Karan is continuously supportive, and makes sure that I proceed to discuss my thoughts. I by no manner had any rigidity to detect it every other manner.


You were supposed to shoot Gehraiyaan in Sri Lanka when the lockdown used to be announced. You did place up to shoot within the pandemic? Even the movie’s open used to be postponed on fable of your crew tested sure.

I call Gehraiyaan my Covid toddler. It used to be with me at some level of the pandemic. We needed to take particular care of this one. It had its hold challenges, be it the protection or the protection. The schedules and areas were continuously altering. If I were to stare back, Gehraiyaan used to be the completely manner we would also possess gotten during the pandemic. As a crew, we were collectively. We were in a bubble, so we had a social lifestyles at some level of the bubble, unlike folk that were caught at home. Yes, we were taking pictures in Goa, and it used to be inviting to place on PPE suits and face masks and shoot. Nonetheless at the a linked time, we had friends, and we made some original friends. We had a seashore in front of our resort, we would also hasten and take a recede within the evening there as it wasn’t very crowded. 

You’ve a distinctive form of movie-making. Was as soon as it deliberate?

The distinctive style comes from my level of negate, and it is miles the completely tool I hold that makes my story assorted as a storyteller. So many tales had been urged already; what issues is the style you repeat them. It’s a long way crucial to possess some extent of negate on the story I’m telling, the characters I’m exploring, and one of many top ways I’m talking it to the viewers. I possess by no manner long gone out to possess a distinctive visual or dialogue style. 

Kapoor & sons

You too can possess gotten explored a explicit relationship in every person in all your films. It used to be about friendship within the main, family within the 2nd, and romantic within the third. What intrigues you about these relationships?

What makes a relationship involving is the dynamics or the intensity they hold. I’m drawn to exploring tantalizing folk, and no longer primarily likeable folk. It’s a long way extra crucial to detect folk hasten through complexities. I don’t cherish oversimplified characters or oversimplified eventualities. I continuously gather my characters into complex mental and emotional locations to detect their most legit find. This would perchance also completely occur have to you push them up the wall or gather them in a nook. I push them enough to peel off your total layers. I take the persona to some extent wherein I will be capable to achieve the extra fundamental questions at play. To illustrate, in Kapoor & Sons, we understood how fragile lifestyles is, how rapidly things can flip around, and we all are running out of time, and have to fix our suggestions. I decide to take characters to a spot of dwelling the place it affords me an perception into larger things, no longer upright the persona nonetheless perception into lifestyles and philosophy. It’s a long way so stress-free to attain that as a author and director. 

Kapoor and sons

Form you negate any relationship is supreme?

I deem it is probably you’ll perchance perchance possess a deeply stress-free relationship. With humanity, the one thing we all depend on is relationships. Nonetheless we on a weird and wonderful basis field them into a truly idealistic romanticised version, which is no longer continuously the residing proof of fact. You’ll probably be a truly lucky person whenever you fall in adore with one person and employ the the rest of your lifestyles with that person, and that is what we regularly peep in films. It’s a long way no longer primarily the case with all people. Of us hasten through messy relationships and hasten heartbreaks, and at the a linked time, folk hasten through very complex lifestyles eventualities. I are seeking to be inclusive of those tales as smartly. I are seeking to bring these tales or those characters into the mainstream. I deem we are carried out with oversimplification. As soon as we open to bring out the greys and no longer upright straightforward shaded and white, it would truly mean new takes and new tales.


Are the author and director in you continuously on the a linked page?

The writing process on this one had continuously developed. Ayesha Devitre Dhillon used to be with me from the phrase hasten. Then Sumit Roy joined us for the screenplay, after which Yash Sahai got here in with Ayesha for dialogues. It used to be most ceaselessly laborious to juggle writing and directing, nonetheless they’re the a linked job on fable of it is probably you’ll perchance even be the storyteller. I had a tall place of folk that possess contributed so distinguished. They made sure all the things used to be ready logistically, visually, and aesthetically. That’s why I will probably be the director and rating the movie. It’ll be inviting, nonetheless I’m studying to swap between a author and a director. I truly feel it is no longer advanced, and I will be capable to juggle the two.

Searching for Sheela

How attain you stare back at Finding Sheela now?

I grew up in a home the place my fogeys were believers of Osho, and I entirely peep how that story has defined so many things for me. I desire I had carried out things in every other case on that mission. That mission took many unpredictable turns for me, nonetheless it is miles a fable that is amazingly shut to my coronary heart. We had a good deal of usaand downs. The experiences that the mission gave me will persist with me and not using a conclude in sight. It made me a bigger storyteller, and that, for me, is the actual success of that mission. I unruffled are seeking to repeat this story in a fictional manner, and hopefully, this would perchance occur one day. I’m defending my fingers crossed.

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