Mumbai: After mapping the rough terrains of Chambal to commercial and critical acclaim in `Pan Singh Tomar`, director Tigmanshu Dhulia is set to explore the complexities of a small town romance in his upcoming film `Milan Talkies`.
The director, whose films are high on socio-political elements, says it will be his first "pure love story." The star cast of the film is yet to be finalised.
"I am planning to direct Milan Talkies. The crux of the story is that though the communication has become easy thanks to mobile phones and everything, it is still very difficult to fall in love in small towns," Dhulia told PTI.
The 45-year-old director says he is attracted to small cities but feels they are disappearing very fast.
"I will continue to base my stories in small towns till they remain small. So few of them are left now. Where is the conflict in love in a big city like Mumbai? Love is still difficult for those living in small cities."
Dhulia, who is also planning a sequel to "Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster" with Irrfan, says he is naturally attracted to subjects which relate to society.
"I come from Allahabad where people are politically more conscious. I try to make films that are part of the society, because I want people to relate with my stories."
The director`s debut "Haasil" revolved around the student politics in Allahabad and "Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster" dealt with the decay in the system through a modern take on Guru Dutt`s classic "Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam".
Dhulia`s most recent release, starring Irrfan, is about the tragic transformation of an award-winning athlete into a notorious dacoit.
Irrfan, his senior at National School of Drama (NSD), was the natural choice for the role of a sportsman turned rebel in the movie.
"Irrfan is a great actor and we share a special bond. We have been together since 1986. If I could help it, I would cast him in every film that I make. We worked together in "Haasil" and in "Charas". I had also planned another film but it did not work out. Finally, `Pan Singh` happened."
Dhulia decided to make a biopic on Pan Singh while working on Shekhar Kapur`s "Bandit Queen" but it took him a while to realise his dream project.
"We shot the film around Dhaulpur. It was relatively more accessible than other areas. We faced some difficulties.
Irrfan had a fracture while doing a scene and the shooting was delayed for few months but otherwise it was fun. Chambal was very exciting and fearsome."
Dhulia trained to become an actor in NSD but he realised very early that acting was not his cup of tea.
"I was a very bad actor. I remember that they cast me in a play as a lead in NSD. Lot of money was spent on it but it flopped. I was very disappointed because I loved movies. When I look back, I think it was a good decision that I did not try to become an actor."
Ask him about playing the villain in Anurag Kashyap`s `Gangs of Wasseypur`, Dhulia says he did it for his friend.
"Anurag is a friend so there was no pressure on me. It was an one off thing."