New Delhi: The media keeps reporting about the high crime rate in Delhi-NCR but not many films tried to explore the reasons behind it. Now, director Sidharth Srinivasan has come up with a film that will focus on the paradoxes existing in the neo-rich world of Delhi.
Srinivasan explains about his film, ‘This is a story of disenfranchisement, on violence whether on the basis of caste or land or gender, this is an ode to the city of Delhi, its outskirts known as NCR, which was supposed to be the symbol of modernisation and growth. I was actually amazed to see the high crime rate in this region, Aarush, Nithari, call center cab, there were several such incidents, so the story emerged due to this dichotomy, from the differences in what wee hear about NCR and what the reality is.”
He further says, “We started visiting the place and realised that there is a conflict between traditions and modernity in those areas. Communities that were living on those lands since centuries were suddenly selling their land and becoming multi-millionaires. The intention was not to pass judgement, it’s not an issue based film per se but shows the changing contours of urban India.”
The coveted world of land politics forms the backdrop of the story but there must be someone at the helm of affairs, “The text is about a lower-caste watchman who is so slavishly dedicated to protect his master’s ancestral property, which is a barren silica mine, that he loses he has lost the ability to protect himself and his loved ones. One day, he realises his position but it’s too late till then, plus it happens at a bloody cost. Will there be any retribution for the watchman is how the film ends.”
One needs realistic locations for such films, “We shot our film in Faridabad and Gurgaon. The locations were hardly 15-20 kms from Delhi. ‘Pairon Talle’ is not about the Delhi of ‘Delhi 6’, or Paharganj, or Lutyen’s, it will showcase the underbelly of development in the National Capital.”
Can ‘Pairon Talle’ be labelled as an anti-development film, “It’s not all shining India. Development happens at a cost but nobody is talking about it, about land politics. The title ‘Pairon Talle’ has double connotation, on one hand it’s about the chowkidaar, on the other hand it’s about the land-sliding under your feet.”
But, don’t you think that the Delhi middle class is very much interested in buying land in NCR, “I think we are all to blame for this situation. It’s like corruption, we might be a part of it but that doesn’t stop us from being morally outraged about it. As an artist I am responding to the reality which doesn’t find enough space in popular cinema.”
The producer of the film, Divya Bhardwaj has all praises for the crew, “We had the privilege of having the best technicians in our crew. Award winning sound engineer Nihar Ranjan is there, Nalla Muthu is there, so we have got a good team.”
What was the biggest difficulty she faced as the producer of ‘Pairon Talle’, “After our experience, I’ll say that every independent filmmaker needs to keep in their mind the P and A budget before starting the shoot. The whole game has been reduced to three weekend days, so it has become crucial to attract the initial eyeballs.”
The film has travelled to several film festivals including Toronto and Rotterdam. The rights to distribute the film in USA and Europe have already been acquired. Foreign audiences have shown positive response to the film but its real test will happen when it goes public on October 5.