The one big fan-base that the softspoken director Nitesh Tiwari has obtained for himself after the release of his new feature film Chhichhore are the former IIT students
“From everywhere, I’m getting messages and calls saying former IIT-ians are booking tickets to see the film over the weekend. That for me is a very comforting feeling. When one writes a film one never knows which way it would go. But if it eventually gets its target audience then it’s a job well done,”says Nitesh
Nitesh whose last film Dangal in 2016 created boxoffice havoc, is aware that he has no Aamir Khan in Chhichhore to bring in the crowds.
Casting is the key to Nitesh’s cinema. He cannot dream of compromising on that. “From the biggest(in terms of footage) to the smallest roles, I’ve to get the actor that fits the character. And since I write my own films I know exactly the face and personality I’m looking for. Even for a walk-on part I cast only the actor I am sure of.”
Unlike Dangal ,the world of Chhichhore is very familiar to Nitesh. “All these characters in Chhichhore are known to me. They are friends I’ve been close to. I am sure they will recognize themselves in the film when they see themselves.Preparing for Dangal was more difficult as I was unfamiliar with wrestling and the world of wrestlers. But shooting for Chhichhore was far more difficult because of the logistics.”
There are more characters in Chhichhore than feasible for recall-value. And yet everyone leaves a lasting impact .
Explains Nitesh, “For me the writing of film is the major part of the work. Once I have the characters and the plot on paper all I need to do is to put the vision on film.I wrote every character in Chhichhore with equal care. There is no hero in this film.On the other hand they are all heroes.”
Would he ever consider directing a film not written by him? “I am surely open to that idea. But it would be an added challenge as it would mean interpreting someone else’s vision. But I am up to it.”
Did Nitesh miss Aamir Khan in Chhichhore?
He laughs, “Like I told you, the cast is dictated by the script. Just as I couldn’t imagine Dangal without Aamir , I can’t see Chhichhore without the actors who are in it.And when you say they are all memorable I feel I made the right choices. No matter what the boxoffice outcome, I am equally proud of both Dangal and Chhichhore.”