Kolkata: Neeraj Ghaywan, whose debut film "Masaan" is releasing across the country today, says he deliberately roped in newcomers as they gelled well with the film's fresh and realistic feel.
"I wanted my characters to be like real life. Stars have their own baggage - it is not always easy to make them discard their mannerisms.
"My shoots passed off uninterrupted without any actor being mobbed at any public place," Neeraj, who had assisted Anurag Kashyap in "Gangs of Wasseypur", told PTI. "As a result, we could do away with any type of hierarchy on the sets and I wanted everyone to feel that all of us were equally behind the film's making. It's a team work," he said.
Richa Chadha, who featured in "Gangs of Wasseypur" is also one of the actors of 'Masaan'. Neeraj recalled how she broke down during the audience adulation after the film's screening in Cannes.
"There was a five-minute long standing ovation by the critics and reviewers. It was overwhelming for all of us because none of the cast and the crew, most of whom made their debut in this film expected such a response.
"Getting the official selection itself was a huge honour," Neeraj said. The film has won the acclaimed FIPRESCI, Promising Future awards at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival and the Sundance Global Filmmaker Award.
Besides Richa, the film stars Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Mishra and Shweta Tripathi.
Neeraj said the film talks about the exploitation of a computer-trained empowered girl who faces rebuttal at the altar of patriarchy where she is threatened by a video clip exposure by our own police force.
"The judiciary is for the poor and helpless and its arms, the administration including police circumvent the rules to dupe the small town people," he said.
"In small towns - tradition and modernity gel more seamlessly as shown in 'Masaan'. Our directors seldom give importance to less important cities and my shooting experience with Anurag Kashyap for 'Gangs of Wasseypur' pulled me to Benares, the spiritual city of ghats and Viswanath temple."