Have you read Great Expectations before?
I had read the book several years earlier, during my childhood in school. The heart and soul of the book is very basic… in any country or place, people are able to relate to this story because it is about love and about heartbreak. I thought this story will be amazing for our Indian audiences, who will like the story… When the story is made for our people, we need to adapt it slightly so that it can create the right impact for them.
You already said that the mother’s character is the most complex, can you tell us about the whole process?
Firstly I’d like to say that the story is based on ‘Great Expectations’, but we’ve given a bit more to it, we did this also with ‘Kai Po Che’, it was an adaptation of a book, so when I take on materials like this I like to think that I can add some value to it.
You know the book has been adapted several times in the West and somewhere I felt that, in all humility, I’d like to say that there’s something I feel I can contribute to the story. It is very complex to understand the story, as you don’t really know what’s in a heart. In fact for ‘Fitoor’, she herself doesn’t know her heart and there’s a way that she’s programmed to think and be, like you are actually a program of your own experiences and you’re a product of what your family wants you to be.
There are emotions you’ll never know you have until you have some kind of emotional breakthrough in your personality which sets you free. So I think the character is like that – you could do certain actions knowingly but if you do not know it is in you. I can talk about all of this but to perform it, to play that part becomes really complex and I must give it to Katrina that on set she was always open-minded and she was always willing to push the envelope as far as her performance was concerned. I’m personally really happy with the work that she has done and I’d like to thank her for it.
Did you always know your next film would be an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations?
My thing in life is to be as versatile as I can be. I had not tackled a love story as yet or a story about love, and ‘Great Expectations’ was always a story in my mind. It’s such a classic theme. I felt that I could present it and add some value to the original story. So, I jumped right into it.
Was it difficult to adapt it to the Indian context?
It was important to understand the complexities of these characters and also the complexities of what happens to so many people in love. Love is such a thing where people have their own defences, when you are engaging someone in a romantic way.
Why did you replace Rekha with Tabu?
I was very excited to work with Rekhaji. She is such a beautiful person, so compassionate and generous. We prepped in our own way but sometimes when you get on the floor, you feel, this is not how we both imagined. I hope that I will get the opportunity to work with her again.