"Drona is a coming-of-age fantasy film"

Updated: Sep 29 2008, 05:23am hrs
Fantasy film Drona, Goldie Behls second after Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai, has been in post-production since December 2007, and as the next release date of October 2 draws near, the director admits hes still fighting against time to put the final touches. Films take time and money, asserts Behl and since we didnt have too much money, we needed to put in more time. Be that as it may, Behl agrees the producers have spent on the higher side on the special effects. Just dressing up Kay Kay Menon, who plays the villain Riz Rizawan, and his den, styled on a palace in Prague, took Rs 22 crore. But are Indian audiences ready for fantasy films Oh yes, I think so, Behl tells Sudipta Datta, after all we have grown up on folklore and fairytales and mythology all I am doing is transporting it on film. Excerpts:

You have taken your time to release Drona. Why has it taken so long

We were scheduled to release the film on August 15, but the visual effects were not in. Its been in post-production since December 2007. And I am still struggling to finish it by October 2. These things take time and money. In the West, such films, which use a lot of special effects as Drona has, are in the works for a longer period of time. I wish the media would understand that.

So how would you label Drona

Its a coming-of-age fantasy film. We have grown up on tales of mythology. Drona is the protector of society. In this film the protector of society is Aditya, played by Abhishek Bachchan, as he embarks on the journey to understand what his true destiny is. All of us are here for a special reason and Drona is Adityas story. The film has Indian roots but is styled in western values of production and technique.

Who handled the visual effects

Our visual effects supervisor is David Bush, who has worked on a number of European films and we handed out work to six Indian studios, like Eross EyeQube, Prana, Future Works, Red Chillies, Tata Elxsi and Prime Focus Plus. The skill in India is what everybody is looking at, so though the supervisor is western, all the six companies are Indian. I am very happy with the visual effects; we have done something innovative, something creative.

What motivated you to tell Dronas story Your first film was quite different

Well, both are coming-of-age tales, only this one has a fantasy feel to it. I was motivated to do the film and this may sound as a clich when my child was born. As I looked at him, he made me think of my father. And I had this idea, how we live behind imprints in the generation that follows. I wanted to explore a persons destiny and fate and for what reason is he here thus was born Drona. I have taken a leaf out of mythology and given it my own spiel. So Aditya, who has a boy-next-door image, becomes the protector of society.

Did you always have Abhishek Bachchan in mind for the role

Yes. We are friends and I discuss all my ideas with him and my other friends. If something clicks, we decide to make a movie out of it.

Do you plan to have a big splash release

I want to reach the maximum audience. I have made it for the big screen, so yes, I hope we release a lot of prints.

Why did you cast Kay Kay Menon as the villain

I saw him in Anurag Kashyaps Paanch. I loved his performance and the madness that his character portrayed. I sent him the script and he readily agreed to do the film.

You are making a movie after a gap of seven years. Are you noticing a change in the industry

Oh yes, the industry has come of age. I find myself more acceptable now. Production values have gone up. Thanks to the multiplexes cinema is now being made for all kinds of audiences.