Vijay Sethupathi Speaks To Subhash K Jha On His Film On Farmers’ Rights.
Why did you do a shabby film like Labaam?
Because I believed in the subject . Sir,with due respects to your opinion, I must say, not every film is done for artistic satisfaction. I agree cinema should be aesthetic, and cinematic . But it needs to be a lot more. I don’t think cinema is only for mass entertainment, though I do films that are for entertainment only. But I also do films that are informative. I don’t believe cinema is for timepass.It is and it must be an important tool for reformation. Laabam , I did for this reason.
You mean you did the film to spread the message on farmers’ rights?
You must understand that the Britishers exploited Indians for 300 years. Why were they able to do that? Because they believed in divide-and-rule. While the rich have always remained one community, the poor are divided on the basis of cast, colour, economic status, etc etc. The farmers have always been an exploited community. During British Raj they produced sugarcane which was used by the Britishers to make molasses, sugar and paper. Sugarcane was used to create every possible profit. What did farmers get? Almost nothing. The exploitation of farmers continues. Laabam is important given the historical context of farmers’ agitation.
So you did the film for its message?
Yes. I am not saying that all films should have a message. But I think it is important for cinema to send out the right signals to the audience.
What are you working on now?
I have to finish Raj and DK’s webseries for Amazon. Shahid Kapoor and I are not fighting about our roles.We are working peacefully.So no controversy there. After this, I start Sriram Raghavan’s film with Katrina Kaif in December. Then I have Kamal Sir(Haasan)’s film to complete.