MANISH GUPTA has balanced writing duties on Bollywood films such as Sarkar and Section 375 with directing his own features Rahasya and The Stoneman Murders.
His new movie as a writer-director is 420 IPC, which premiered recently on streaming site ZEE5.
The courtroom drama about a man on trial for bank fraud stars Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Gul Panag and Rohan Vinod Mehra.
Eastern Eye caught up with the Indian filmmaker to discuss his new film.
What has been the most memorable moment of your cinema journey? The most memorable has been working with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan on the first day of the shoot of Sarkar, for which I wrote the screenplay and dialogues.
What inspired your film 420 IPC? I had got the idea for 420 IPC during the three years of extensive research that I carried out for my previous courtroom drama Section 375. During that time, I came across court procedures involved in economic offence cases, which I found to be an unexplored premise for a film. After further research, I discovered that people with upper economic status and a high pedigree of intelligence and education are involved in economic crimes. So, the court proceedings involve more brain work, thus lending a more cerebral premise for a film.
Tell us about the film? 420 IPC is essentially a suspense film and courtroom drama about an economic offence case. It has an intricate web-like plot woven around the mechanics of economic offences, which forms the crux of this film.
What is your favourite moment in the movie? (Smiles) I can’t say that without revealing the twist.
What was the experience of making a movie during a pandemic like? It was stressful. We took all due precautions, but everyone was afraid, especially the actors who obviously could not wear masks during the shots.
How does writing compare to directing? Writing and direction are so deeply interlinked that one process cannot be imagined in isolation without the other. That’s why I’ve been the solo screenplay and dialogue writer for all the films directed by me, namely The Stoneman Murders, Rahasya and now 420 IPC.
What can we expect next from you? The shooting of my next film is complete. It’s another suspense drama starring Raveena Tandon.
What inspires you as a writer-director? Real people and real events inspire me. I write what I see happening around me.
Who is your own filmmaking hero? It is Christopher Nolan. I love his writing and direction. He has created films that few writer-directors can come even close to.
Why should we watch 420 IPC? Watch the film for some delicious suspense, twists, and turns, which you’ll enjoy. 420 IPC is a unique story. It’s the only suspense film made in India that does not involve a violent crime.