Vikramaditya Motwane whose debut film Udaan has cracked Cannes wants to return to India and show his film to his mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Interestingly, Vikram’s mother Deepa and Sanjay were business partners before Sanjay became a filmmaker.
Recalls Bhansali, “Much before I began assisting Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Vikram’s mother Deepa and I had formed a company Triton to make ad films. I made several ad films for automobiles, etc then got bored of it and the company dissolved. But during those years, Vikram, who was just 5 when I first met his mother, would be running around in shorts. So I’ve virtually watched him grow up in front of me.”
It was inevitable that Motwane would start a career in the movie business by assisting Sanjay Bhansali. However, Sanjay was not kicked by Motwane’s first script for Udaan. And Motwane reluctantly took the project to Anurag Kashyap.
Says Sanjay, “It doesn’t matter who produced it. I’m so glad Vikram’s film has made such a wide impact.”
Although Vikramaditya Motwane’s directorial debut Udaan has been criticized by some reviewers for not quite being worthy of being part of Cannes’ prestigious ‘Un Certain Regard’ section, Vikram couldn’t have hoped for a better response.
Speaking from Cannes, he said, “Everywhere on the streets here, me and the film’s actors Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor are being stopped and congratulated. Everyone wants to meet the boy in the film (Rajat Barmecha).”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s blue-eyed boy and favourite protégée Vikram Motwane whose film Udaan is the first Indian entry at Cannes in a competitive section in the last seven years is dazed and sleepless in Cannes after three days of being honoured feted and toasted.
But Motwane is alert enough to make one promise from Cannes.
“I want Sanjay Bhansali to see Udaan. His approval is very, very important to me. I’ve literally grown up in front of him. And if he likes my film, I’d be happy. I’m aware some critics back home have criticized the selection of Udaan for Cannes. I don’t care. I can’t please everyone. As long as the people I care for approve of my film, my work is done.”
Though quite numbed by the Cannes experience this isn’t Motwane first visit. In 2002, he had accompanied Sanjay Bhansali to Cannes for the premiere of Devdas.
Recalls Bhansali, “Vikram assisted me on Devdas. He handled everything for me in Cannes in 2002. Every detail was taken care of by Vikram. I don’t think I’ve ever been closer to any of my assistants.”