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EXCLUSIVE | ”We call it fearless filmmaking,” says Siddharth Anand Kumar on film Agra

Agra Film: Kanu Behl’s another feature film ‘Agra’ is now ready to make its premiere at Cannes 2023, part of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the film festival, which starts on May 16. It’s challenging to describe and terrifying to watch the movie Agra. It starts like a hallucination and goes on like a fever […]

Edited By : Sakshi | Updated: May 18, 2023 13:48 IST
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Siddhant Anand Kumar
Siddhant Anand Kumar

Agra Film: Kanu Behl’s another feature film ‘Agra’ is now ready to make its premiere at Cannes 2023, part of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the film festival, which starts on May 16.

It’s challenging to describe and terrifying to watch the movie Agra. It starts like a hallucination and goes on like a fever dream, eschewing the pretentiousness of formal arthouse film. Guru (Mohit Agarwal) is a young man on the verge of breaking free. Although he appears to be dating someone, Guru is incredibly emotionally and sexually inhibited. He shares a multi-story home with his mother, father, and father’s mistress, all of whom are resentful and ambitious. He longs for a private space on the patio, but unfulfilled wishes are threatening to topple his tenuous world.




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In an exclusive conversation with, Siddharth Anand Kumar talked about the film and his excitement as the film made it to Cannes 2023. 

Q1. Let me start with the every basic question that everyone might have asked you. Your film made it to annes which is indeed a big platform so how does it feel like out of many big films, your movie is one of them? 

A1. “We are very happy. We believe it is a reflection of a strategy that we have taken adequately from the very start. We call it fearless filmmaking. So we try to make films that have a very deep message. We try to make films that are not dictated just by who is the star.”

“But we look very carefully at the story. And in the case of Agra, we have given the filmmaker a lot of freedom to make a film which is very true to his vision. So doing that and getting this success is a very good thing. Because very often you do something with very good intentions but the result is not good. But in this case, the intention was correct and Kanu made a good picture and the result was good. So we are very happy.” 

Q2. Please brief us about the plot of the movie. 

A2. “So it is a very interesting, deeply personal examination of dystopia in families. So what is a dysfunctional family unit like? If you have seen Titli, Kanu has done a similar exploration of a dysfunctional family in that film. So if I tell you the story, of course the story is simple. There is a plot in Agra and one family is living in that plot. There is a father, there is a son, there is his wife and his girlfriend. All living in the same house. And now there is a roof in the house.” 

He further added, “So the son wants to make a room in that roof. And everyone has a different reason to want that roof. There is not enough space in the house. So everyone wants their own space. The mother wants it for some reason, the son wants it for some reason, the girlfriend wants it for some reason, the father wants it for some reason. So this is where the fight happens. So this is a human film.”

When he was asked that wheater the film was a comedy or not? He said, “Yes, it is very interesting, it is very different, it is not an overt comedy. A film like this you can make in many different ways. You can make it a comedy like Rohit Shetty’s comedy also. But this is a slightly deeper, darker version of that. So in some ways it is more realistic.”

“Each family member is trying to do something to win the other people over and get the space for themselves. And the film also goes into some pretty dark explorations of what it means to be in a family, what it means to be living in an urban city like Agra which has basically exploded. It is a historical city but now it has exploded with population. So it looks into all of these very interesting, very pertinent issues.”

Q3. I am very curious to know one thing in the one hand there are a lot of big-budget movies with Bollywood biggies that are dominating the entertainment industry. On the other hand, there are ground-level movies with brilliant concepts also new talents and no doubt they are making it big on some platforms or others. So, what do you think is the scope or potential of such movies in the upcoming five years?

A3. “See we as a producer do all sorts of movies. We have massive commercial films, especially in Malayalam and Punjabi. And then we are also doing smaller independent films which are based on the vision of a storyteller. And I believe India is a fascinating country where everybody has a habit of watching films. So it is part of our culture. Storytelling is very much part of our ancient traditions as well. So we in India are blessed that we can tell all kinds of stories. Now when you tell a very commercial film, you talk to a larger audience segment. So you have a bigger budget. Yeah. Because you are talking to more people. There are more potential buyers for your story. But then there are also more compromises you make because you have to please many different kinds of people.” 

He further added, “So that is what we call commercial cinema. Then you have what is called independent cinema where your budget is much smaller. You are talking to fewer people, therefore. And you can talk in a more nuanced or a more detailed way. You don’t have to talk from the top. So this is that kind of a film where we have gone a little deeper. Our budget is much smaller than the big Bollywood films that happen. So it is a film made with a lot of personality. It is a film made with a lot of heart. And it is a film made to really provoke the audience.”


Siddharth Anand Kumar’s upcoming projects

While talking about his upcoming projects, he said, ”Yes, we have lots of exciting films coming up. We have some, as I mentioned earlier, in regional languages that we are very excited about. There are some very nice movies with Mr Mammootty in one of them. Mr Asif Ali is in another. We have some Punjabi films that we are making. So we have a lot of exciting things which are going to come to India. 

“We have some exciting things that are going to come to the big screen in India. And also we are making a series. We have just released one action series with Mr Sunil Shetty on Amazon Mini TV. So we are working on more of that. So, you know, as a producer we are doing commercial cinema, niche cinema, series, regional films, all of the above,” he further added. 

Also read:- The Kerala Story box office collection Day 12: Adah Sharma’s film earns Rs 156.84 crore in total

First published on: May 17, 2023 02:23 PM IST

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