“When watching the film, I just hope people take away that while the world is getting smaller and you’re becoming lonelier, you need to remember that you have people, and people is all that you have... that feeling of togetherness is beautiful.” That is what Gulmohar, Rahul V. Chittella’s debut film talks about. How people keep you going, so remember to keep them close. Everything about the film is beautiful — the balm-like music, the stunning cinematography, the depth of the characters, and the performances. I got a chance to speak with Rahul while driving through Lutyen’s Delhi to the screening of the film, which stayed with me long after I left the theatre. He deconstructs his journey with the film below:
Arpita and I became producing partners and then partners in the company. I was working very closely with her. I was going back and forth between Bombay and Delhi. And we did the casting for Reluctant Fundamentalist from a house Mira owned in Vasant Vihar in Delhi. I used to live in that house when I was in Delhi many years later. When I made my first film, which was a thirteen-minute film, I edited it in that house because Mira was in New York and my editors and I were in Delhi. So I said, I need a place. She said, of course, edit in the house. We made the entire edit set up in that house. Years later, builders wanted to take over that house and redevelop that area. So Mira and I used to discuss it a lot, but eventually she did sell the house.
Early 2019, when she was working on A Suitable Boy, by then Arpita, my co-writer, and I had decided we wanted to make a film that’s based on a family with multiple characters. But we were not able to find the backdrop of what’s really happening in the film. Then, I had happened to be in that house just to meet Mira. So she entered and her mother entered, and I could see these paintings leave the house as they were entering. And suddenly this idea came to me. I texted Arpita right there, what if the family is packing up their home and all the secrets are coming out? So Arpita wrote back saying, she loves it! That’s how it all began.
Read the full article in our March issue of EZ here.
Words Hansika Lohani
L-R: Rahul V. Chittella; Film Poster