From Aamir Khan doing a Dangal to Salman Khan breaking stereotypes with Sultan, Bollywood superstars have started experimenting with roles on screen, and director Ahswiny Iyer Tiwari believes the reason for this shift is the realisation that cliche will not sell any more.
Tiwari, who had young Swara Bhaskar playing a mother to a teenage girl in her first Bollywood directorial venture Nil Battey Sannata, says as a filmmaker she feels actors now have more options in terms of characters.
In an interview on the sidelines of IFFI, the director says, “All the actors are aware about the shift in cinema. They all know that it is time to get into characters rather than just being themselves.”
Tiwari says actors like Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt are easily shifting through films like Judwaa 2 and Humpty Sharma… to Badlapur and Udta Punjab.
“They know what is working. We are in a very good state of Indian cinema because we can make all kind of movies. The actors have options in terms of roles. And we have a society which accepts them in different characters. It is commendable to see our actors working in such a manner.”
Tiwari is known for her slice-of-life cinema and her second film Bareilly Ki Barfi received both critical and commercial success.
The director, whose next will revolve around the sports of Kabaddi, believes films, which were popular during the ’70s and the ’80s, have made a comeback as audiences now prefer to watch stories “about them”.
“In the era of consumerism, where everything is available on the click of a button, it is tough to figure out where we belong. My idea is to go back to where we come from and cherish the things which we all had.
“We are a country of the youngest generation, We have grown up with certain values and it is important for me to remind the audiences about it. Why even today Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee are relevant? Because they talk about life. This is why lice-of-life cinema is currently working well.”
She may have a realistic approach towards her storytelling but Tiwari also believes in incorporating aspirational elements in her films.
“I believe a lot in understanding the audience. It is important to involve their insights in cinema. In movies, it is important to have a fine balance between aspirational stuff and the real things. It is like people may identify with my characters, but at the same time they probably will aspire to dress like them.”
Tiwari says entertaining the audience is her soul motive as a filmmaker and she enjoys interacting with her viewers to understand their thought process.
“I am making films for the audiences, to entertain them.
I am there because of their love for the kind of cinema I make. So it is very important to have a dialogue with them. I want them to keep helping me in moving ahead,” she says.