Actor-turned-director Himanshu Malik's Chitrakut takes a look at modern-day relationships and couples who are struggling to fall in and out of love. It also explores the physical and emotional struggles of people, as they navigate their feelings to maturity. One look at the trailer and Chitrakut feels fresh and something different from the typical Bollywood fare. Himanshu shared why he chose this subject for his directorial debut, given the fact that it takes empathy to deep dive into such themes.
"I feel it is a tricky subject for a debutante like me simply for the reason that relationships and love are the most often used genre by artists, be it filmmakers or actors. To attempt this in my first film was tricky because if you do not have something new to say and a new way to say it, you can fall flat on your face. Love is the most basic human need, I feel. Searching for companionship is the driving force for most of us and the most pressing need for everyone. I always wanted to understand how love flows between people," Himanshu said on the subject of Chitrakut.
About preparing for his role as Debu and the takeaways from the shooting experience, actor Vibhore Mayank shared, "The major preparation was around the emotional obligations of a particular scene. Debu, my character, in the first half is highly emotional and reactive, which I am not as a person. I had to do a few acting exercises to get myself into the same vulnerable state as Debu and then react accordingly. I have learned a lot about myself as an actor and also how to prepare for a scene beforehand. As we were shooting 4-5 scenes per day and there was very little time to prepare on the set."
Himanshu also spoke about the challenges of making an indie film in Bollywood. "It was very challenging and stimulating because there were plenty of obstacles and one had to find new and creative ways to work around them. It was also a challenge to find people who have faith in the subject and have a vision for the project, all while keeping the standard Bollywood fare out of the storytelling."
About his set of challenges shooting for Chitrakut and how he overcame them, Vibhore said, "It was challenging especially because it's my first film in a lead role and the character is layered, highly vulnerable and conflicted at the same time also the character has an arc and continuously transforms throughout the journey. The challenge was to make him believable and the transformations organic."
Chitrakut is running in cinema halls now.