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Bobby-Sanjay on Salim-Javed: ‘Their screenplays are textbooks for any film student’-Entertainment News , Firstpost

Subhash Ok Jha catches up with screenplay writers Bobby and Sanjay in a uncommon conversational mode

The brothers Bobby and Sanjay are arguably essentially the most related and authentic screenplay writers of Indian cinema in the present day. Functioning solely within the Malayalam cinema Bobby-Sanjay’s screenplay in   Ente Veedu Appuvinteyum, Traffic, Notebook, Mumbai, Uyare, Salute and Kannekkanne have earned the brothers the place of being the rightful heirs of Salim-Javed’s legacy. Excerpts:

 The names Bobby- Sanjay have come to imply explosive extraordinary screenplays in Malayalam. How do you two react to the repute that your gorgeous screenplays have created?

Bobby:  We see it because the fulfilment of a childhood dream of ours to make it massive in cinema. At first, our fascination was for the entertainers of these times-mostly Malayalam and Hindi movies. Though we typically don’t write such movies ourselves, they have been our basis stones which led us to the world of cinema. We by no means meant to carve a path for ourselves as screenplay writers. It simply occurred and possibly due to that the viewers may relate nicely to our tales.

Sanjay: I’m pleased and grateful that the majority of our screenplays have been accepted by the audiences and critics. When we strategy a film, we search for themes that elevate us as writers and human beings. Personally, the writing course of is a purging expertise that makes me pleased. So, when folks settle for our motion pictures, it’s a affirmation for me that no matter I went by through the writing has resonated nicely with the audiences. That for me is nice fulfilment. I don’t imply this by way of simply enormous field workplace success. Sometimes it’s about reaching and being accepted in areas that we wished it to be.

I’ve watched almost all of the movies that you just two have written from Ente Veedu Appuvinteyum to the current Salute. I see no connecting sample in your writing. Who are your influences as screenwriters?

Bobby:  We attempt to guarantee that no two movies of ours are related in any approach and it is tougher to us as writers to create totally different tales with totally different premises.

Sanjay:  We strive not to return to tales that we’ve explored as soon as. It’s an area we’ve already inhabited and repeating it might be monotonous with out providing something new. New atmospheres and atmosphere are what make writing thrilling since you are there for the primary time and you’re discovering new issues alongside the best way. For me all sorts of cinema- world and Indian- have been an incredible inspiration. There are many writers and screenplays which have had nice affect on me. Also, my studying has helped me so much in the case of characterisations and depth. Certain folks I meet, sure incidents and moments that I come throughout, information articles; I get materials from virtually the whole lot and all over the place. Observing life is what I typically do to seek out tales.

The closest parallel that I see to your collaborative screenwriting superstardom are Salim and Javed who blazed a path in Hindi cinema within the 1970s and 80s. What do you consider Salim and Javed? You train the identical clout in Malayalam cinema that they did.

Bobby:  Personally, I’ve been enormously impressed by writers like P.Padmarajan, M.T Vasudevan Nair and Salim-Javed. Their characterizations, dialogues and build-up of the plot factors have influenced me very a lot.

Sanjay:  Salim- Javed are amongst our favourites and we’ve watched all of their motion pictures. Most of them, at the least thrice or much more. I really feel in the case of Indian industrial cinema, they’re the best and to be in contrast with them is sort of embarrassing as a result of we very nicely know that we’re nowhere close to. Their screenplays are textual content books for any movie scholar. And no, we don’t train the identical clout they did and we by no means will.


Tell me about your starting as writers. How did the 2 of you determine on writing collectively? You are from a movie household however was it powerful getting your first few breaks?

Bobby: We studied in Corpus Christi School which was run by Mary Roy (mom of Arundhati Roy). She was very eager that every one college students ought to attempt to develop their creative abilities. We used to write down and direct performs throughout these instances. Our faculty has helped us so much in that approach. Initially we by no means knew which profession to decide on in movies, however by the late 90’s, we realized screenplay writing was our greatest alternative.

Sanjay: Our father, Prem Prakash is a movie producer and he was very prolific throughout our childhood and teenage years. We have been virtually born into motion pictures. Our mom, who was an English trainer insisted that we learn. So, it was a potent mixture of films and books. For so long as I can keep in mind I wished to be in motion pictures and it was a coincidence that each of us liked writing. So, it was a reasonably natural choice that we might write collectively. After school I went on to be an assistant director to the extremely popular movie maker Kamal. Our first break didn’t come painlessly. Even our father rejected a couple of of our screenplays. We began with a television serial Avasthandarangal which our dad produced. Later, luckily for us he favored the script of Ente veedu appoontem and produced it. The indisputable fact that we began with a director like Siby Malayil additionally helped us and our profession to take off. Ente veedu appontem did nicely on the field workplace and by chance from there we didn’t should wrestle a lot for work.

 How do you brothers collaborate? I ask this as a result of writing is such an isolating endeavour. Then how do you ideate and write collectively?

Bobby: This is the query we’ve answered the best variety of instances. This is the query we’ve answered the best variety of instances. We each have a rapport which permits good discussions and sharing of concepts and ideas. We do have variations of opinion whereas on scripts however we accept what’s finest for the movie. We additionally really feel two brains are higher than one in the case of writing since one individual might give you an concept which the opposite individual might not have considered.

Sanjay: Yes, writing certainly is figure carried out in isolation and we do precisely that. We work individually on every story and are available collectively for discussions to share one another’s ideas. This provides extra layers and dimensions to the story.

 My favorite is Mumbai Police. The final half hour when Prithviraj’s character’s sexual orientation is revealed was a shocker Do you purposely assemble the plot right into a shocker? Is there a component of emotional manipulation in your writing to maintain drama?

Bobby: I really feel drama needs to be included in a script with out affecting its stream and logic. Minus drama, any film will probably be dry and boring. We often construct a narrative and attempt to embrace dramatic conditions which simply gel with it. If it’s compelled, it is going to negatively have an effect on the storytelling course of. At the identical time, a screenplay with out drama, battle or sudden turning factors will most probably be a catastrophe.

Sanjay: Real life is all the time our uncooked materials. We attempt to discover the additional unusual within the unusual. What appears easy needn’t all the time be easy. That’s principally our concept as writers. When we really feel a spark in a thought or a narrative, we sleep on it for some time to see if it stays with us. If it doesn’t, we don’t pursue it. A theme or a thought has to actually hang-out us or compel us into writing it. There are instances when a thought strikes and we really feel it’s sensible, however the subsequent morning we wake to seek out it doesn’t excite us in any respect. If the joy stays then we make it right into a film. We strategy a screenplay not simply as writers however as viewers too. We guarantee that the viewers in us is totally proud of no matter we’ve written. So maybe the stress is the results of that.  I’m not positive if manipulation is the correct phrase. We principally journey with the story and character and consider the varied paths it may go. But we be sure that these paths are logical and in tune with the story and character. We like to take a look at a screenplay as a spiral staircase. You by no means know what awaits on the subsequent turning. I really feel that’s what makes each story attention-grabbing.

 Seeing your impeccable craftsmanship why are you two restricted to Malayalam cinema. Bollywood wants you desperately

Bobby:  Bollywood is an business completely totally different from ours. In reality, our motion pictures have been remade in Hindi and we might like to work there. But we would wish an individual nicely versed in Hindi to translate our dialogues. While a traditional Malayalam movie typically takes lower than a 12 months from pre-production to launch, Bollywood movies might  take years to occur. That too is a constraint for us. Of course, if the whole lot falls into place, we’re undoubtedly . The Pan-Indian attain of Bollywood movies are enormous in comparison with Malayalam, and as writers it could be a giant opening for us.

Sanjay:  We have lot of commitments right here in Kerala. We would undoubtedly wish to strive a hand in Bollywood if we’re given the artistic freedom that we take pleasure in right here. We are enormous followers of Hindi cinema and Hindi music from childhood. So, if the whole lot falls into place, we’d write a Hindi film.

 I imagine you two have introduced a revolution within the pay scales for writers in cinema.  Why do you suppose writers are so monstrously underpaid in Indian cinema?

Bobby:  I really feel the state of affairs has modified. Writers are paid nicely nowadays. Probably the explanation why they have been/are paid much less is {that a} film is marketed primarily on its star forged. People on the technical facet are given much less significance as a result of they work unseen. But now the scene is definitely altering because the viewers have a look at who the director and author are earlier than deciding to look at a film.

Sanjay:  I believe issues are significantly better than it was earlier than the place a author’s job was thought-about to be clerical. In Kerala writers aren’t solely paid nicely but in addition given the respect that’s as a result of them. There is an understanding that content material is king. If you give you good content material you develop into a vital a part of a film by default. People hearken to you.

 What are your forthcoming tasks?

Bobby:  We take a mean of six months to write down a screenplay. There have been ones which took us greater than a 12 months too. Our forthcoming movies are with Roshan Andrews, Manu Ashokan and Vivek (director of Athiran).

Sanjay:   There is a film with director Vivek, one with Roshan Andrews and one with Manu Ashokan. These are the flicks we’re dedicated to as of now. We take a very long time to finish a screenplay. We do plenty of analysis and we write at the least three drafts. It may take anyplace between eight months to at least one 12 months.

Subhash Ok Jha is a Patna-based movie critic who has been writing about Bollywood for lengthy sufficient to know the business inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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