Gulmohar, a Hindi film, written and directed by Rahul V. Chittella got featured in the ‘Indian Panorama’ category at the 54th International Film Festival of India, Goa. The film explores the meaning of family and home, interweaving individual storylines of various members of the Batra family.

While interacting with media and delegates at a Press Conference organized by PIB, Manoj Baypayee, the lead actor of Gulmohar, said that the family atmosphere created by the Director on the sets served as a workshop, for shooting a heart touching film on ‘family’. “Family and its feeling extended well beyond the shooting. We were playing father, son, daughter, mother in front of the camera. After the shoot, we used to get together as a family sharing ideas, laughter and food. This atmosphere has helped all young actors to stay in the role and understand all finer things about the character. The film is depicting family, its members and their interpersonal relations. This could not have been achieved without this atmosphere,” he added.

Answering the question of his transition from theatre to films, Manoj Bajpayee said that he always considered himself as a theatre actor first. He recalled that it was Shekhar Kapur, the Director of Bandit Queen, who encouraged him in the path of films by underlining the difficulties theatre artists might face with regards to monetary compulsions of the future. He highlighted the significance of theatre by saying, “Theatre is an actor’s medium in contrast to films, which is director’s medium. I find it very difficult to take credit for my performance when I am part of a film, because I know deep down that it is led by a director’s vision.”

Sharing his idea of the family drama Gulmohar, Rahul V. Chittella, Director of the film said that the meanings and definition of family and home changes with time and it will change as we age, but these are the only two things that have always mattered. “The film deals with meaning of family and home across three generations,” he said. Addressing the media on the title Gulmohar, he said, “The title Gulmohar is a poetic word and it reminds me of the very intriguing songs by Gulzar. Gulmohar is a flower that blooms and falls very quickly and its image suits the story that I am trying to tell. The film is set in Delhi and Delhi is like a character in the film.”

Santhy Balachandran, one of the actors in the film Gulmohar said that it is like a dream to debut in a Hindi film with the legends like Manoj Bajpayee, Sharmila Tagore, Simran and Amol Palekar. Drawing a contrast between Malayalam and Hindi films, Santhy Balachandran said that unlike the Malayalam film industry, Hindi cinema has got a corporate formal structure. “But in Gulmohar, I didn’t feel that corporate kind of environment because of the warmth and familial type of feeling on the set”, she added.


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