‘Reality is stranger than fiction’
...says National Award winning director Vinod Kapri, whose film Pihu was screened at the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India in Goa
National Award winning director Vinod Kapri’s new movie Pihu is a single character film. He says he has tried to keep the simplicity of the story intact as the film is based on a mind-boggling real life incident.
Asked if he took the creative liberty to fictionalize the story, Kapri says, “I think reality is stranger than fiction, so when I read the story in the newspaper -- of a boy stuck in an apartment without his parents, and what followed next -- it intrigued me to write the script of the film.”
He also went to the police station to find out some more details. “When I started making the film, the only element which was there in my mind was to maintain the simplicity of the story because the situation was quite dramatic in reality.”
For the social thriller film, Kapri chose two-year-old protagonist Myra Vishwakarma. Directing her was a tough process for the filmmaker as one cannot make such a little child act. But the character of Pihu is the soul of the film.
“After scripting the story, when we started shooting, for the first few days it was all going wrong. Therefore, we decided to shelve the film. We could not do any ‘retake’ for any scene because a two-year-old cannot recreate an expression like a professional actor,” the filmmaker says.
The solution came to him in the form of a multiple camera setup that captured the little girl from different angles.
Asked about how he directed her to give expressions and act in a certain way, the journalist-turned-filmmaker says, “Well, we had to act along at times. For instance, there was a scene where she opened the refrigerator and started throwing vegetables. On set, before shooting the scene, we started playing a game of throwing vegetables everywhere, and then she joined us. So, I instructed the rest of the crew members to clear the space so that she can play. That’s when we shot it.”
Pihu was screened at the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India in Goa.