It’s common knowledge in the entertainment business that Sujoy Ghosh can’t make a film without Vidya Balan. Not after Kahaani, which, Sujoy admits, changed the course of his career. After Kahaani when Vidya turned down his next film Sujoy was shattered.
Admits Sujoy, “It was unexpected. And I was disappointed. But it wasn’t Vidya’s fault at all. We build all these unreasonable expectations from all those whom we love. And then, when they are unable to fulfil these inflated expectations we are hurt. It isn’t fair to ourselves or to whom we love and expect to love up-to our hopes. Even when she is your wife why would you expect her to have your meal on the table every day?”
So what happened?
Elaborates Sujoy candidly, “When I narrated a script to Vidya she told me not to call it Kahaani 2. She felt it was not in that genre at all. She was completely right. But I was hurt. Anyway, I moved to other projects which for some reason didn’t materialize. For example, I was supposed to do a film adaptation of Keigo Huganshino’s Japanese novel The Devotion Of Suspect X. It was to be produced by Balaji Telefilms. Only they know what went wrong. I was destined to do another film with Vidya only. So here I am.”
4 years after Kahaani, Sujoy and Vidya are back together and Sujoy just can’t stop raving about his leading lady. “I know of several heroines who give their heart soul and limb to a character. But Vidya’s dedication is on another level of passion altogether. When she heard the script she decided the character will wear no makeup. And she stuck by her resolve, didn’t sneak makeup on when I wasn’t looking. You will see her looking like yesterday night’s chapatti in this film. For the sequence where she runs out on the street after her daughter is kidnapped Vidya lay on the busy Grand Trunk Road for two hours with heavy traffic all around her. Which actress would have the balls to do this?”
Sujoy says he is not bogged down by expectations. “We did something unexpected in Kahaani four years ago. And when we had pregnant woman running through the streets of Kolkata people considered us mad. Lekin ek junoon toh honi chahiye. Vidya has the junoon. I have it too, I think. I know people expect another Kahaani from me and Vidya. We are going tell another kahaani (story). Hopefully this one will grip audiences’ mind the same way as the first film.”
As for the expectations Sujoy says they are invalid. “You can’t make a film based on what people expect from you. Kahaani 2 has been made because there is a story we want to tell and not because audiences expect another Kahaani from me and Vidya.”