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Something Special

Prakash Belawadi says that he had sensed from the beginning that Talvar is a special script and that working with Irrfan is a challenge as he acts effortlessly

On the response

There has been praise all around for the film. I’m not surprised. It was a great script, to start with. And the young team under Meghna Gulzar worked with faith and passion. During the shoot, you could sense that this was something special in the making.

On bagging the role

I received a call from casting director Honey Trehan, who was in charge of the look and feel of the film. I asked for the script and they were generous and trusting enough to send me the entire first draft. I absolutely loved the treatment and tight narrative.

On Irrfan

Irrfan is so comfortable in the way he acts. It’s a challenge to share the frame with him. However, he is easy, warm and very friendly and puts his co-star at ease.

On research

I was a crime reporter for The Indian Express back in the 1980s. I’ve been a journalist for many years and I have seen senior cops and bureaucrats at close quarters. I thought of them… their attitude and predicament. I used that while essaying my role, imagining some of their traits. Being a journalist helped me play my character.

The challenge

It is a challenge to remain honest and committed in government, not that many bureaucrats even care to be honest. But if you are a good guy and the system overwhelms you, what can you do? You need to reconcile with irony and detachment. I think Vishal Bhardwaj’s script was uncanny in sketching the characters, and Meghna and the team believed in their narrative so completely that the conviction carried it through. So I tried to think my thoughts and trust the camera and composition.

On Meghna Gulzar

She works like in an innovative start-up… open, passionate and inquiring and sharing. It was a pleasure to watch her team at work. You get the feeling that Indian cinema is moving forward with a brave and competent new generation. I did meet Vishal on the set. He once walked over after a shot, in the round-table scene, and commented that that Irrfan Khan and I had great chemistry. It was reassuring. Otherwise; all my discussions were with Meghna Gulzar.

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