News & Interviews

Ritesh Batra Basking In The Success Of  Our Souls At Night

Ritesh Batra

The  Lunchbox director has moved on. His  new film Our Souls At Night(OSAN) which premiered on Netflix on Friday September 29 has  got some amazing feedback.

“I’ve to admit the feedback has been extremely gratifying,” says Ritesh.  “People from the entire world saw the film on the same day.That’s the reach of the  digital medium.I had good things being said about the film from people as far away as Brazil.”

For Ritesh OSAN was a challenge on many levels. “I was working with these two iconic legends . And I could easily have been overawed by their sheer presence. Luckily for us, all three of   us—Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and I—had an idol to look up to. Kent Haruf the  writer of the original novel. All of us were fans of the novel.We all worked towards doing justice to the original material.”

Ritesh feels blessed, as the author’s family was also involved in the making of  the  film. “Haruf is not around to see what we did with his novel. But his family was associated with every aspect of  the  film. We were all looking towards the same  goal of making a film that Haruf would have approved of.”

How did Ritesh get comfortable with the legends?  “Months before we started shooting in Colorado I spent time with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda  individually. Then all of three of us spent time  together. The bedroom set where much of the film happens was  our home for a while.”

Ritesh  used a lot of the local population in Colorado Springs. “All the friends at the pub that Robert Redford meets every day are locals. We wanted to keep it as authentic as  possible. We also ensured that Robert and Jane’s on-screen relationship grew organically.The camera moved only with them.It followed their emotions.”

Ritesh, now in Mumbai to shoot his next, is  filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work with the legendary couple.  “Not for a  moment did Robert  or Jane make me feel  the weight  of their stardom. They surrendered to the film and to their characters.”

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