Anurag Basu is a content man these days. His directorial, Ludo has released to glowing reviews from both the critics and audiences. “This is what every maker wants. I was a little anxious as it was my first time with a direct-to-OTT release. It’s all been good, and the response is increasing every day,” shares an excited Basu.
The 50-year-old started his career on television, and made his debut as a film director with Saaya (2003), and then went on to helm Life… in a Metro (2007), Kites (2010), Barfi! (2013), among more films. None of them have been remakes, and that Basu says is a conscious choice.
“There are many directors like me who don’t make remakes. When you have a story to tell, or an idea, it’s better to attempt that, because making a remake makes it easier, and faster, you can churn out more films. You don’t have to write a screenplay as your structure is ready. But there’s no fun, we thrive on creating something new when we go on set,” he reasons.
Talking about his latest film, Ludo, it’s a story with four different tracks, all converging in the climax. Basu reveals that the idea was there with him right after Life in a Metro, which again involved different stories. He reveals, “I wanted to attempt this, but then I moved on to other projects like Barfi! But it was always there at the back of my mind and taking shape.”
That it would have to let go a theatrical release due to Covid-19 pandemic was something he also didn’t see coming though. He did want one, he admits. Theatres had started reopening in parts of the country from October 15. Did Basu and the producers attempt to release it in theatres after the news came in?
He tells us, “Not really, with the number of people coming to theatres being very less. The decision for OTT was taken way back in August. We thought it would take a year for normal footfall in theatres, and didn’t want to wait that long.”
Designed for a theatre experience, he adds, “We write the story and structure keeping the interval in mind, I would have made Ludo a little different if it was direct for OTT, but we had already shot so no regrets.”
What came as a surprise for the viewers was Basu himself making an appearance in the film as the narrator. It all happened because of the pandemic, the director chuckles.
“It was not an afterthought, we wanted to shoot the narrator part after I finished editing the whole film, so I could correct or edit out any portions. Unfortunately, by that time Covid had hit us and there was lockdown. I got a window of only a day to shoot this, with a lot of difficulty and small unit. There was no option for any other actor to be cast!,” he concludes.
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