With him film, Zubaan, opening at the 20th edition of the Busan International Film Festival, (the first time ever a mainstream Bollywood film has opened the biggest film festival in Asia), and him winning accolade after accolade for it, Mozez Singh is the official man of the moment. We caught up with him and got a little bit of intel about the hows, whys and whats of Zubaan.
Watch the trailer here...
Cosmo: The film is a fairly classic coming-of-age tale...with quite a twist. What inspired you to make it?
Mozez Singh: "There are many things that inspired the film—no one particular thing, no particular event or moment, really. Zubaan is a story that was very close to my heart. I wanted to write about something that mattered to me, that was important to me. There are many things in the film that resonate with me as a person. It's a story that revolves around music as well as a coming-of-age story. I think at some point in life, we all go on some kind of quest for self-discovery. This film was written when I was going through it, myself. It's a story about faith—which is a really big thing in my life. I wanted to explore that. The idea of person who doesn't have any faith, in a geration of faithlessness, and then finds faith, really appealed to me."
C: Is the film in any way autobiographical?
MS: "Not at all. I don't have to write my life story to make it personal, and even though it isn't about me, it's as personal as it gets. It's about things that are important to me. As a director, you take values and elements that are important to you and weave a fictional story around it"
C: Who would you say is the strongest, most inspiring female character in your film?
MS: Sarah Jane's character in the film, definitely. She's the inspiration for the main lead, helping him find his voice. But I think we need to get beyond the 'male/female' thing, I think everyone should be inspiring, not just women. I, for one, try my best not to differentiate between characters. I think it doesn't matter if you are a male or female you should feel moved, inspired or motivated regardless."
C: Which of your characters do you admire most?
MS: "I don't write any of my characters perfectly—they are all essentially flawed. I mean, none of us are perfect and I want my characters to be a reflection of what is real. However, I think the character that inspired me the mosts the lead character, played by Vicky Kaushal—he's extremely flawed, and goes through a tremendous journey before he finds himself. His character is admirable from the perspective that he had the audacity to basically walk away from something that wasn't right for him; even though it would have given him a more comfortable life. He chose to follow his true path."
M: I think if the audience feels inspired, empowered and motivated, and if they come out feeling these positive emotions, I think I would have achieved what I set out for. My film is about feeling empowered at the end of those two hours—that's the message I wanted to give out, and I hope that people feel that when they see the film."