Exclusive : Director Jeevan Reddy Interview

Jeevan Reddy is known for films like Dalam and George Reddy. This time, he is not dealing with violence per se or naxalism but treading a path that is familiar with commercial movie directors. The film’s date of release is yet to be announced but it is scheduled to hit the marquee towards the end of June. In a chat with Klapboardpost.com, Jeevan Reddy tells him this is a genre that has never been attempted by him earlier and it is a colourful movie that will surprise the audience.

Chor Bazaar has a family of 200 to 300 films living in Jumerat Bazar in Old City. This has been there since Nizam’s era. The thieves he says pick up small stuff, second hand stuff and sell it for a lark. Jeevan adds, “I have spent one week to ten days with them. They live in tunnels, sheds, and railway stations. The market begins at 2 am and ends at 4.30 pm. From milk dabbas to tyres and television sets everything is available here. They do steal but not that much that will drown the nation. A person who is from the market tells me that they sell to survive and help others survive. Poor people approach them. If the system is good, he questioned, why would people come to them? The people don’t steal new stuff or smuggle goods, they sell anything from 10 rs to one crore but which is of use to others. They don’t go for branded stuff, they steal anything that will be of help to people.”

He adds, “Thousands of people wear what they buy from those people, which they normally can’t afford and buy in big stores. At Least five thousand people wear what they sell. They just pass by and pick up clothes drying on a string. Even if something is lost, people won’t feel the pinch, and they won’t lodge a complaint in the police station. They came from the Nizam’s time, the retired army got a street and unwanted things were thrown there. This was sold in a market. The old stuff also is recycled here. Goods are sold for throwaway prices like Rs10 and sometimes given away free. When they see a woman with an infant, they feel like giving it for free and they have the satisfaction and derive happiness watching their faces, especially when a 1000 Rs stuff is available for 100 or 50 Rs.”

Jeevan doesn’t sit at a scenic place and wait for creative juices to flow. He observes people, moves with them and brings their painful lives to the screen with a lot of colour. In this story which he has written, there is a happening between the residents or sellers of Begum Bazar and Chor Bazaar. He quips, “If we buy a shoe in Begum Bazaar, it is 2000 Rs whereas the same stuff is available in Chor Bazaar for 100 Rs. The former loses its market. The government and also the police apparently ignore the thefts and feel if they can’t uplift the lives of the thieves, it is better to ignore them. They don’t normally take action as no one lodges a complaint against them. The director observes, “They hate begging and give off things for a lark. There is rhythm in their life, they live for the day and don’t worry about tomorrow. They consider themselves negligible when compared to big burglars and politicians. The big thieves steal things for themselves and prosper, here they steal for others. They don’t break almirahs, lockers, or smugglers. They sing in the police station for documentation and have the silent approval of the police. The cops react only when a complaint is lodged.”

The hero is Bacchan Saheb, an orphan. A woman played by Archana of Neerekshana fae had raised him and rechristened him because she is fond of Big B. She can’t tolerate anyone randomly calling him names and wants him to be addressed that way. There is a love story as well, the heroine is Gehna Sippy. There are subplots about families who get cheated. The story is about what happens to the lives of these people when the Chor Bazaar is shut. Chor Bazaar has four youth who are orphans, pickpockets and these youth have names of film stars. Bachupally is the place where we put up sets. In the day they wear tattered clothes, during the nights they are stylish wearing reebok shoes. Around 200 shops have been erected at Bachupally and the old Nizam walls have been painted. The heroine plays a girl from Dhoolpet. This is a fun film….their lives are full of pain. There are folk songs in Telangana dialect with Arabic mix to bring out Hyderabadi culture. It has 5 songs written by Mettapalli Surender and Kasarla Shyam. Around 100 people are there in every frame. Jagadeesh Cheekati is the DoP and he made sure there are many colours to the story. …Y.Sunita Chowdhary

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