Manish Mundra has been the name behind many poignant films to come out of Hindi cinema. From Newton to Ankhon Dekhi, Kaamyaab, and his last year’s release Siya, the producer has given gems to the industry. As he gears up for the release of Siya on Zee5 this June 16, the producer had an exclusive chat with Bollywood Bubble.
Manish Mundra on his films’ collections
During the chat, the producer, who also turned director with Siya, opened up on his experience in the industry. When asked if he ever gets bothered by the low box office collections of his films, he explains his vision.
He says, “I focus on the big picture and that is very simple. When I wind up my career, I want to be able to say that I made these 20-30 films which I wanted to make. The box office numbers don’t go with me and no one remembers them. Aankhon Dekhi was released alongside Ragini MMS. But today nobody talks about Ragini MMS or what was its box office, but they still remember Aankhon Dekhi. So, box office numbers fade away with time. But good cinema, it will remain there forever.”
On his directing experience in Siya
While Manish has been a part of the industry for a long time as a producer, Siya was his debut directorial. And the experience changed him as a producer too. He shares, “I have become wiser as a producer now. When I went on set as a director to know what everyone wants, you get their mentality. The learning process as a creative guy is also very rewarding as it gives you the freedom to tell a story the way you want to. Being a producer, somewhere in my mind I had a plan that if the film isn’t good, I wouldn’t tell the world that we have made a film. But I loved the entire journey.”
Siya tells the story of a rape victim trying to get justice. Manish insists that it was a challenging experience to direct the film as the subject was very sensitive. He says, “It always scares you from inside when you are trying to show to the world what they shouldn’t do. So, mentally it was challenging for me. But for my actor, Pooja (Pandey, the lead actress), it was way more challenging. It was tough for her but I feel so proud of the way she carried through the whole film.”
Manish reveals the most challenging scenes
When asked to mention the most emotionally taxing scenes for him, Manish shares there were many. He reveals, “The whole journey of the shoot was challenging, but some scenes like the abduction, the scene where she is tortured, the court room scenes and the accident scene were some of the ones that were emotionally taxing for us all. We did it well and we are proud of it, but at that time, it was tough.”
Even while telling the compelling story, Manish didn’t show the gruesome act of rape on screen. And he shares that he was very clear about that from the beginning. “When I conceived this film, I was very clear that I will not show the gruesome act and I will always be talking forth through symbolic references. Quite frankly, I didn’t even want to show the blood. We also haven’t used any cuss word through the film as I wanted people to be able to see the film with their families. I was very clear that I didn’t want to make the film gory and gruesome that it becomes impossible to watch. It’s very important for the film to be seen by everyone,” he concludes.
Siya released in theatres last year on September 16. It stars Pooja Pandey and Vineet Kumar Singh and tells the story of a rape victim fighting for justice. It starts streaming on Zee5 on June 16, 2023.
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