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Bejoy Nambiar on “David”

Can the director follow up his Shaitan success?

Image Credit: Supplied
Director BejoyNambiar.

A lot of expectations are pinned on Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘David.’

He’s hoping his triple threat, David, released today in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, will bring him the same critical success he found with his debut, Shaitan.

Here’s the cast — try to keep up: “The Hindi version carries three different stories of three Davids belonging to three different time zones, while the Tamil version revolves around two Davids, again belonging to different times,” Nambiar told tabloid!. South Indian actor Vikram plays the lead role, while the Hindi version also features Neil Nithin Mukesh and Vinay Virmani.

“Vikram is common in both versions, he plays a Goan fisherman. Jiiva and Vinay Virmani play musicians in Tamil and Hindi respectively. The third David in Hindi is essayed by Neil Nithin Mukesh.” Isha Sharvani, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Rohini Hattangadi and Nasser also star.

The director used two cinematographers, Ratnavelu and P.S. Vinod, to lend a different look to both the versions.

Nambiar, who grew up in Mumbai, changed tracks after finishing an MBA at the University of Wales, beginning with short films. His first short film, ‘Reflections,’ starring Malayalam star, Mohan Lal is a silent film and available online. His second short film, ‘Rahu,’ features Malayalam actor Tilakan and depicts the prevalence and evil effects of superstitions in the villages of India. After assisting Mani Ratnam on the sets of ‘Guru’ and ‘Ravanan,’ Nambiar went solo with ‘Shaitan.’

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. How did the idea for David originate?

A: The script is mine. The screenplay has been written by me in association with Natasha Sahgal. True incidents sparked the idea and then we built upon it.


Q. How was it directing Vikram?

A. He is an amazing actor. I have worked with him during the filming of ‘Ravanan.’ What he brings to the table is unimaginable. He takes his character to another level. Several scenes that he has done are not what I had in mind, but notches higher. That is what an actor like Vikram brings. He elevates your content and makes things easier.


Q. And Jiiva?

A. He is a fun-loving guy but in the film he plays a serious role. Five seconds before the shoot he will be jumping and laughing, but once the camera is turned on, Jiiva switches on like a remote. The intensity he brings to the character is unimaginable.

Q. What is Tabu’s role?

A. She has an interesting character as you will discover on watching the film. This is something new for her. I think her scenes with Vikram were great. They shared a fantastic camaraderie and jammed very well.

Q. Can you share memories of late actor Tilakan, whom you directed in ‘Rahu’?

A. Tilakan was an institution. I had written the script in a certain way and after performing a particular scene, he came up to me and said, ‘I don’t agree with this scene. I personally feel it should be done this way and he enacted it out. I can do it this way or your way, the choice is yours.’

Obviously his way was way ahead of what I had conceived. He was unbelievable.


Fact Box

What’s David all about?

David is set in Mumbai and Goa. One story is of David, a 20-year-old musician, born into a family of devout Christians. He takes guitar lessons for children and is forced to quit his studies in order to support his family, but secretly nurses an ambition to make it big in the music world. He dotes on his two sisters but doesn’t get along with his father, who is a priest. To gain more political mileage, a local politician disgraces David’s father by alleging that he forcefully converts people into Christianity. This incident turns David’s life upside down. What drives young David to avenge this forms the rest of his story.

The second story set in Goa in 2010 is of David, a 35- year- old fisherman living with his mother. His two best friends are Frenny, the owner of a local massage parlour -- and his dead father with whom he chats regularly. His best friend, Peter is getting married to the beautiful deaf and mute Roma. David ends up falling head over heels in love with Roma and convinces himself and his friends that she is in love with him too, jeopardizing Peter’s wedding by pursuing Roma and convincing her to marry him instead. His mis-adventures in his quest to convince Roma form the rest of his story.

For the film’s music, Nambiar collaborated with six music composers: Remo Fernandes, Prashanth Pillai, Anirudh Ravichander (of “Why this Kolaveri Di” fame), Bramfatura, Maatibaani and Modern Mafia, an independent rock band. While the Tamil version has nine tracks, the Hindi version has fifteen tracks. Vikram has sung the song ‘Maria Pita Che,’ in the film.