Busy with the making of his new film, Corporate, Bhandarkar is a happy man riding high on the success of Page 3. Incidentally, Corporate is the second part of a trilogy that began with Page 3 and will culminate with Signal.
In conversation with rediff.com, Bhandarkar talks about Corporate -- slotted for an April 2006 release -- and more. Excerpts:
Was the idea of a trilogy always on your mind?
Yes. Page 3 explores the sham under the veneer of glamour, which is the hallmark of Bollywood. It sets a tone of hypocrisy and show-off. These factors are explored further in Corporate. In this film, I have tried to bring to light the never-ending game of politics, manipulation and favouritism that shrouds the world of corporate bosses.
Filmmaking has made me come across big players of the trade; their conversations and gameplans have left me intrigued. I felt narrating their stories will definitely be worth the effort. After all, both the films are attempts to arrive at the truth.
Does Corporate, like Page 3, have an underlying message?
Corporate tells us there is more to the corporate world than success and money. It drives home a point: Climbing the ladder is not an easy proposition. Page 3 unmasked the faces representing glitz and glamour. Corporate will take us on to the hearts of the big players of business.
The film tells an unknown tale people would like to hear. Who doesn't feel curious about big business groups?
Tell us about the film's cast.
We have worked with a huge crew comprising 35 actors. The main roles are played by Bipasha Basu, Kay Kay, Minissha Lamba, Samir Dattani, Rajit Kapoor et al. Each one of them has put in an impressive performance. I could not have asked for more. I think Corporate will score as high as Page 3, at least as far as acting is concerned.
Some sequences of Page 3 looked as if they were lifted out of tabloids and glossy magazines. Have you done as extensive a research for Corporate?
Oh yes! Since my films are docu-dramas, I can't afford to be lackadaisical. Before knitting Corporate's plot, I spoke at length with CEOs, vice-presidents or the so-called head honchos of business. Conversing with them not only enriched me but also laid a solid foundation for the second part of my trilogy.
The success of Page 3 was quite a surprise. What, according to you, was its USP?
When I ventured into the film, people thought I was crazy. They could not see logic in documenting the lifestyle of the rich and famous. But there was something inside me that goaded me to make this film. I had an intuition. Thank god I obeyed my mind!
I trace the successes of Chandni Bar and Page 3 to their human element. Despite being commentaries, both the films stand on their feet for their sensitivity, insight, profundity and tenderness.
Why do you think Signal will see the culmination of your trilogy?
Though Page 3 and Corporate speak about the glamour and gloss, there is more to life. What happens to the people -- beggars, eunuchs and the handicapped -- who ask for money at traffic signals? What does life mean to them? Can we send out any signal of hope for them? Do the rich and famous have anything on offer for them?
Signal, the last part of my trilogy, will attempt to answer these queries. It will lend my theme a perfect poise.