Anubhav Sinha 2.0: the actors decipher what makes the difference of the filmmaker
Audiences are now calling him “Anubhav Sinha 2.0” as he continues to wonder where he was hiding all those years before Mulk arrived in 2018. Even his actors are intrigued. “That’s a question I love to ask him,” Taapsee Pannu, who starred in the filmmaker’s Mulk, told indianexpress.com.
A social drama, Mulk revolved around a Muslim family struggling to regain their lost respect in society after their son was declared a terrorist. The film, in a way, has split Anubhav’s filmography into two halves – one where he has directed commercial cauldrons like Ra.One (2011) and Cash (2007), and the other which boasts now three critically acclaimed films (Mulk, Article 15 and Thappad).
Although he worked with stars like Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One, and Ajay Devgn and Suniel Shetty in Cash, Anubhav Sinha was not satisfied. “Actually, I don’t know the person who directed the films he made before Mulk. I only saw this version, ”Taapsee said.
Thappad actor Pavail Gulati added that even the filmmaker has no answer to what has changed in him. “I’m sure there is a big plot. He slept and woke up the next morning as a different person, ”Pavail explained.
Anubhav Sinha definitely left a lot of people shocked by the stories he started to evolve into, all of them socio-political dramas with hard-hitting storylines, something Pavail calls “his kind of cinema”.
The actor had only a few plans when Anubhav hired him to play Taapsee Vikram’s on-screen husband in Thappad. “I was blown away after watching Mulk and Article 15. So I knew that if I had the opportunity to work with him, I could definitely show my talent and be in good hands,” Pavail recalls.
Taapsee Pannu said she was drawn to his scripts because she trusted them to be “deeper than what they sound like”. The actor added, “Whenever I’ve discussed a movie with him it’s always something that’s going to leave an impact more than the two hours he’s going to be on screen.”
Anubhav Sinha made several TV shows and music videos in the 90s. He took the helm with the musical hit Tum Bin in 2001. He quickly followed with Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai, Dus, Tathastu, Tum Bin 2, besides producing some of them too.
But just as the audience wanted to see more of him, even him seemed a little dissatisfied. A frequent collaborator and actor, Kumud Mishra, said: “Even though I had seen his previous films, I never paid attention to the director. All I knew about him was that he was a great commercial filmmaker. I believe that any work you do has a ripple effect on your progress in life. These commercial films are therefore decisive in bringing him to this stage of his career. “
Kumud has completed four projects with Anubhav, including three films for which the filmmaker has won several awards. Recalling how adamant Anubhav was to hand him over to the small role of judge in Mulk, Kumud said, “He was sure only I could play the judge in Mulk, and I was wondering why since there are better actors than me in this industry. “
The actor eventually found a new fan base and showed his craft in all three films as well. “I feel good to be a part of all his projects.
Anubhav Sinha trusted another seasoned actor who was already stereotypical – Manoj Pahwa. The actor agrees that before signing Mulk he was stereotypical as a comedian. So, in addition to giving relevant stories a chance, the filmmaker also took the risk of throwing actors against the grain.
“He’s the only director who thinks I can play any role. He helped me show my versatility with Mulk. He told me he would see if something was wrong,” explained Manoj, adding that despite the reluctance of the film crew to name him as Bilal, Anubhav was sure of his decision. Today the filmmaker is writing roles with Manoj in mind
Manoj Pahwa and Anubhav Sinha first collaborated on the TV show Shikast (1993) and went on to work in several other movies and clips, where Manoj shares the director even made him dance. “He is not only my brother or a friend, but also my mentor. Our personal relationship is such that he scolds me even if he thinks I drink too much. He said to me: ‘Abhi bahut filmein karni hain aapko simple sath’, ”Manoj joked.
For Taapsee Pannu, working with Anubhav was a chance to learn from his experience. “As we started talking, I got to know him more as a person. His opinions, his understanding from different angles of the same problem were very impressive.
The actor revealed that she became a fan of Anubhav Sinha’s writing skills right after reading Mulk’s script which shows his courage to put the finger on the head. “The fact that he can convey so many nuances and without emphasizing things… Mulk will be the first thing that comes to mind if you ever mention Anubhav Sinha to me,” she said.
Pavail Gulati also agrees. He says the filmmaker gives his actors the freedom to act without a lot of instruction. “His scripts are so beautifully written that you are in for a treat. You keep comparing other projects with it. He’s just going to explain things somewhere and you start to do it that way. You will not realize that it is in fact he who sowed this seed in you.
The actor was only two days away from filming Thappad when Anubhav Sinha threw a birthday party for him and helped him feel comfortable with the crew. “How beautifully he breaks the ice!” I had my guards up on the first day on the Thappad plateau, but he instantly made me feel at ease. He is so funny and open about things, ”added Pavail.
While none of the artists could decode why things changed for Anubhav Sinha, Manoj Pahwa and Kumud Mishra agreed that he had probably taken the time to understand the direction he wanted to take. “Maybe he wanted to try the multi-star, big-budget movies at first. But later realized that this was not his true calling. He is a man with a socio-political conscience. So he wanted to say something to society and thought of bringing that through his films, ”said Pahwa.
According to Pavail Gulati, Anubhav Sinha made films to appeal to people during the first phase of his career. But then he realized he wasn’t able to indulge himself, and that’s when he started making movies for himself. “I think all of his anger and frustration came out of his films, turning him into this wonderful director,” the actor explained.
Its actors also swear by the life advice they received from Anubhav Sinha. Pavail learned from Anubhav to choose scripts in which he believes and not for the producer or the actors involved. Taapsee added that she contacts the director whenever she needs a “healthy and unbiased view on a subject” because she believes that “she is someone who has the capacity to examine an issue in a broader perspective and not to jump to conclusions “.
“What he prefers to say is ‘Zindabad’. His advice, or whatever you call it, is to live free, happy and good, ”Taapsee said. “This man is something else. He may look serious, but he’s a cuddly bunny, ”Pavail concluded.
Happy birthday, Anubhav Sinha. And thank you for your films!
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