Actor and director Raj Singh Chaudhary who hails from Rajasthan, recently mentioned that he imagined a horse and a cowboy, from his favourite western movies. According to the Indian Express, while talking about his upcoming movie ‘Thar’, he said, “I never knew I’ll be making a film which is very Clint Eastwood.” He was referring to the Hollywood veteran and Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ trilogy.
‘Thar’ is set in the 1980s and follows Siddharth’s journey through a remote village in Rajasthan that has recently seen violent killings. Actor Anil Kapoor plays a cop who is investigating these murders. Chaudhary wanted to present his vision about the deserts through the Thar Desert - an Aravalli mountain range, doing justice to his story of a Neo-western thriller.
“As a child, I used to visualise from a mountain top that a horse would come and stand and there’s a cowboy… I didn’t want to make Thar into a run-of-the-mill story. I have been a fan of the Western genre from my childhood. The Rajasthan that I belong to wasn’t the Rajasthan of palaces and sand dunes. My Rajasthan is the one with the mountains and that is very similar to the ones that we see in the Western films. The local population with sunburnt faces, stained teeth, moustaches, scraggy beards… all that is very similar to those films,” told the director to PTI.
Chaudhary is best known for starring in and co-writing ‘Gulaal’ in 2009 with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. He said, “I’m trying to convey something through this film. It could be anybody whether in a village, a 2-tier city, towns, or even internationally… the film will resonate with every human. If the soul of the film comes through, my job here is done.”
The filmmaker says that ‘Thar’ is the closest we have come to the western genre in our cinema. “This is the genius of Anurag Kashyap. When he was writing the dialogues with me, he came up with this thought that anybody could be the murderer. When Anurag brought in those dialogues, by default, it became a homage to Sholay,” Chaudhary said referring to Anil Kapoor’s dialogue in the trailer.
The director further said that the story fit organically in the genre and the location. He then praised Leone’s movies and their background score composed by music composer Ennio Morricone. He also drew inspiration from ‘Django Unchained’ directed by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
“Basically every character could be the culprit, understanding the motivation for a character is important… A good whodunit would be where you feel that every character could or could not be the murderer,” added the director. Chaudhary also mentioned that he knew actor Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor was the one when he saw his debut ‘Mirzya’ in 2016.
He said, “He had those eyes and face that I needed for Thar. I spoke to Vikramaditya Motwane. Harsh was doing Bhavesh Joshi with him at that point of time. I asked Vikram to introduce me to Harsh and we moved ahead with the film.”
“Phantom couldn’t make it as it got dissolved, but Harsh and I stuck to it. We wanted one character to be played by Anil sir. He read the script and he really liked it but since I’m a new director he was sceptical about it. Will I be able to pull it off? Trusting someone new is a big risk for him, he told me and Harsh to shoot three scenes properly with a film camera… we edited it, with the score, and we showed it to him. He really liked it and that is how he came on board. We then worked more on the script, then Netflix came on board,” Chaudhary added.
The director further talked about the perks of releasing the film on Netflix. “If I’d done this in the theatres there were certain things I’d have to dilute in the film. But Netflix gives you that bandwidth to make the film you want to make in the way you want to make. Maybe you’ll not get the kind of budget if you want to do a theatrical. OTT is a huge medium today for the audience to reach out and watch films,” he added.
‘Thar’ also stars Fatima Sana Shaikh, Jitendra Joshi, Satish Kaushik, Akshay Oberoi and Mukti Mohan and will start streaming on May 6.
[With Inputs From PTI]