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An Exclusive interview with Prakash Jha, Arjun Rampal & Abhay Deol on Chakravyuh

PRAKASH – Why such theme and more importantly, influences behind such film? This subject matter has been with me for quite sometime. In fact when I was in college, early 70s. It revolved around the land issues in which there was fires and killings, it all flared up, over period of time it was all brutally spread.


PRAKASH – Have you shown a realistic situation? Realistic images content and tried to make it accurate as possible to show how these incidents transpire and how the people are affected by it and how the victims are stuck within it.

PRAKASH – Did the censorship board react to this film? Did they let it pass or did they want to ban few things? To the whole film, the examining committee saw the film and suggested 7 cuts, 4 minor ones and 3 major ones that wasn’t acceptable to me. I found it to be unreasonable that they see fit to ban a song as well as using brand names in it.
PRAKASH – You make films to deliver a strong message, what is the message from Chakravyuh? I just want people to understand the issue. See it in others perspective. My films are inspired by reality and Indian society. I like to fit stories out there, make a movement.
PRAKASH How was it to work with a big project and only to wrap up so quickly? With me, I want everyone to work hard, get things done on time and plus all the pre-production phase helps to put the shoot together. Rest depends on actors and nature. The pre-production lasted for 4 months. Abhay spent 12 days with me going through the script, Arjun also. We are ready in to our characters, not a single day we exceeded the time limit.


ARJUN – How much preparation did you do to fit the character for the role? Easier way to get in to the role is when there is material given to you. Prakash has given me so much information about why this character is the way that he is, so he’ll give you back stories which you don’t see in the film. So it automatically helps you get in to the body language.
ABHAY – Portraying real life events, how much of a challenge was that? Well portraying real life events will get you in to trouble, particularly right now Prakash is in the middle of a case where he is being sued. But it was a good and sometimes scary to try to get involved with the tribal but luckily it never got out of hand.
Kabir and Adil have friendship in the film, can you explain further on it? (Arjun) That is the nicest part of the film, which is the film. Adil is my character, has always loved Kabir as a brother, since growing up together. Kabir was the less focused person and Adil was the most focused person.
How was it working together and maintain a friendship off screen? (Arjun) I’ve known Abhay for about 15 years. (Abhay) 18 years actually. (Arjun) he was always the baby of the group. I’ve seen him grow up, the path he has taken with the type of work he does. I’ve always been happy for him, they way he has planned his career. (Abhay) We both seen each other’s work and it was going to be a great experience working together, friends for a long time and we didn’t really need to break the ice between us.
ABHAY – How was it working with Prakash Jha? Tell us a bit about that experience. It was terrible; it’s like Hitler on set. He doesn’t feed you either (jokes). No he prepares a lot, which makes the process really easy. This has been one of the easiest films to shoot because of how it has been well prepared by Prakash. By easy I mean, prepped and managed to work on time and ahead of schedule.
ABHAY – Why did you sign for this film? The script really got me, I was aware of the movement, you see it in the news here and there and find out about these things. It was an interesting space, Prakash gave me the script, which not only reflected what was happening in the country but also just presented and highlighted to show it as preaching something, and of course it was for Prakash Jha so I wanted this.
PRAKASH – Can you talk about the music of this film? This film has 5 music directors, with 5 songs. There is an item song too shot in the village.
ARJUN – How do you decide what film you want to do? The first question I ask myself is that would you really watch this film? With this film yes I would watch it because the characters will give me different emotions. Chakravyuh had all the answers there and it is in a sense influencing film to me too.
ABHAY – Your thoughts on the film being premiered in the London Film Festival? I am excited, as I have never been to this before, great to be involved with the festival and seeing the audience.  Any platform to showcase your work, you have to respect that. I am curious where this will lead though; I hope it reaches the right audiences. As a premiere this is the first time I will be interacting with the UK audience.
PRAKASH  – Is this film targeted to a certain audience? I don’t make films for an audience; I make films for THE audiences. I’m sure anybody can go and watch this.
– photography credit to HEMA CHOUHAN –