Starting in Wazir Bagh, a small mohalla in Kashmir, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s life has been well and truly unscripted. Over the last thirty years, he has blazed a trail in Hindi cinema – even going on to direct a film in Hollywood. From someone who once released his student film though it was incomplete because he ran out of money and film stock, he now has the distinction of heading one of the key production houses in India, VVC Films. The company has made some of the biggest blockbusters in recent times. Not only is he a filmmaker par excellence, but he has also nurtured some of the brightest talents in the Hindi film industry, including directors Rajkumar Hirani, Pradeep Sarkar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
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In Unscripted, Vidhu Vinod Chopra speaks to his long-time collaborator and scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi about his exceptional journey. Engaging and illuminating, the book provides a glimpse into the mind, method and madness of one of contemporary Hindi cinema’s best filmmakers.
Commenting on the release, Abhijat Joshi said, “Once when I had helped Vinod with a quote for some occasion, he had gifted me a shirt and said, “Coat (quote) ke badle shirt!” Today when I’m asked for a quote about him, I recall this moment. In a way, it is defining. It shows a man defying the mundane, trying to imbue each ordinary day of life with humour, charm, affection and good theatre. His intense love for family, cinema, food and wine, Ghalib and Gibran’s poetry is essentially a rebellious quest to lend some meaning to life when it is juxtaposed with death. If the phrase Seize the Day didn’t exist, Vinod would have invented it. Along with the phrase illegitimi non carborundum— Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, “I had a great time talking with Abhijat Joshi about cinema and life. Maybe someday someone might read this book after I’m dead and gone and say – a man from a small mohalla in Kashmir had big dreams and fulfilled them without selling his soul, so why can’t I?”