Shaping the Frame
Maya, raised by her single mother Meera, is considering marriage. She meets Raunak on a matrimonial website. A crucial meeting over lunch with Raunak’s parents ends on a disastrous note when Meera makes a mistake, and Maya decides to parts ways with him. An argument with Meera, leads to her mother going missing. This short film, Maya, written and directed by Vikas Chandra is about the sense of loss and how to deal with it. Starring Kirti Kulhari, Alka Amin and Naveen Kasturia, Maya will soon start making the rounds of the film festivals, and is Chandra’s take on realising our dear ones are not going to be around us forever. “It’s a personal story. For me, cinema is about how we see the society, how it has shaped us, and how we have shaped it,” says the Patna-born filmmaker, 37.
The relationship between parents and children was the basic premise when he started writing the story. But soon, the fear of loss and insecurity in relationships took centre-stage. “Maya doesn’t want to leave her mother and that makes her a control freak. Meera doesn’t want her daughter to lose the sense of independence that she has instilled in her, in that insecurity she has come up with a solution, that she will walk out of her life when she gets married,” he says.
When Chandra first set foot in the industry nearly 12 years ago, he was “the lowest of the lowest ADs (Assistant Directors)”. Some of the films he worked on includes Ghajini, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Listen… Amaya. Then he took to writing, and wrote for TV, including for Aasman se Aage, Tedhi Baat Shekhar Ke Saath, and Big Switch. His last short film was Project11 (2011), an international collaborative film with 11 directors from 11 cities around the world, on a video game that was killing people across the globe. He has directed numerous television ads and shorts, and will soon direct DARR 2.0, a Y-Films’ reboot of the Shahrukh Khan-starrer hit as a mini series.
He has also directed the web-series, Chacha Vidhayak Hain Hamare, which has been written by stand-up comic Zakir Khan. It was Khan’s acting debut as well. At the centre of the story is Ronny, a 25-year-old jobless man living in Indore, who solves people’s problems because they think he is the nephew of a local MLA. “In the story, small town humour has its place. But I found it interesting as Ronny, who is an underdog among underdogs, had the audacity to dream of a life full of swag. I told Zakir that I like the politics of the show and what it’s trying to do. It’s almost like selling Ronny as gareebo ka Ranbir Kapoor.” Though his biggest challenge was to make Khan act. “I had seen some of his previous videos and he was atrocious. The task was to make him less self conscious… it was a long struggle but he really pulled it off,” says Chandra.