Debutant Bollywood director Abhishek Chaubey says that his film Ishqiya has turned out to be a bold movie because of the rural backdrop. He, however, adds that he isn't making any social statement with the film, which is a tale of romance, crime, suspense, passion and deceit.
"One of the reasons why it comes across as bold is because it has a rural setting from the North of India. If I were to place my characters in downtown Mumbai, then it would have been a normal movie. The locale makes the film fresh and unique," Chaubey said.
But Chaubey clarifies that Ishqiya is not a social comment, rather it's about the emotional journey of three people played by Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan.
"My backdrop, my setting, I have borrowed them from reality and I used them to tell the story. The film is about these three people, it is not a social comment. I'm not making any statement about society with my film. It's basically about the emotional journey of these three people," said Chaubey.
Asked what inspired him to set his film in an interior area of Uttar Pradesh, he said: "There are many reasons. The most important is that I am from there. My parents are from there, I was born there and I spent some part of my life there. I know a little bit about the place, people, culture and the landscape. And I wanted to set a film in a territory where I am most comfortable."
Also, Ishqiya could be described as a female-centric film because Vidya's character has an important role in the movie.
"The woman in my film happens to be a very important character. She has her own issues. She has her own needs, desire and goals. She is not just an emotional support to the hero of the film. The female character in the film drives the plot in critical places," said Chaubey.
"The film is a blend of romance and suspense. It deals with various aspects of love, lust, complete submission and false love. It is not just about the three central characters; other characters in the film are also connected to it," he added.
Chaubey admits that the film will reflect his personal experiences as well.
"It's very difficult for a director to make a film and not show himself. Definitely the film will have a reflection of me. You don't plan it, you don't think in that way, but the moment you start creating your characters, some of your personal experiences go into it.
"Things that you have experienced in your life that remain at the back of your consciousness pop up and help you in creating your film. Some part of my life has gone into the film. For instance, inputs for Vidya's character came from women I met in my life."
Chaubey says Vidya wasn't apprehensive about the bold scenes, but she had to be given reasons why it was required in the movie.
"She was not apprehensive to do bold scenes, but she needed proper reason why those scenes were required. It was well explained in the script and I was also clear in my mind why her character is like that. So I gave her the details. When she came on the set, she knew what she was doing and why she was doing it."
Ishqiya is slated for release on January 29.