‘Kantara inspired me to make ‘Munjya” | ‘Kantara inspired me to make ‘Munjya”: The director said – Hollywood has a fifty year old story, we have stories for centuries

24 minutes agoAuthor: Virendra Mishra

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Director Aditya Sarpotdar’s film ‘Munjya’ is being liked a lot these days. Without any big star, this film is being liked only because of the subject. The director got the inspiration to make this film from ‘Kantara’. During a special conversation with Dainik Bhaskar, the director said that every province of our country has such folk tales, if films are made on them, then centuries will pass and we will not have a shortage of subjects for the film. Aditya has inherited film making. His grandfather Vishwas Sarpotdar and father Ajay Sarpotdar have been well-known producers and distributors of Marathi cinema. Aditya Sarpotdar started his career in 2008 with the Marathi film ‘Uladhal’.

What is Munjya, where did you get the inspiration to make a film on this subject?

Munjya is the story of a Brahmarakshas whose stories are very popular in Konkan of Maharashtra. Since childhood I used to wonder why films are not made on such stories. The film ‘Kantara’ made on such a folk tale was a big hit. There are many such stories in our Maharashtra and every province of the country. If films are made on these, then we will never be short of subjects. Big series like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter have been made on books written in Hollywood in the last 50-60 years. We have such stories lying with us for centuries that centuries will pass by. There will never be a shortage of stories for films.

Munjya comes from the Brahmin community of Konkan. Upnayan ceremony of children is done at the age of 5-7 years. Which is called Munjya in Konkan. If those children die prematurely after 10 days of Munjya, then their unfulfilled desires are not fulfilled. Therefore, they become ghosts which are called Munjya. That is, Munjya is formed from Munjya, which has a special connection with the Peepal tree. Because the bones of the dead child are buried under the Peepal tree and the sacred thread is tied to the tree. It is believed that the ghost is tied to the tree. If it somehow escapes from the tree, then it will reach the village and create havoc.


This is a horror film, but instead of getting scared, children are enjoying the film?

This is more of a comedy film than a horror film. When we think of ghosts, we imagine 6-foot-tall scary faces. But the image I had of Munjya since childhood was not scary. I made this film keeping in mind people in the age group of 10-20 years. I always felt that if a film is to be made on this subject, then the film should be for children. It has a little more humor for children. We have shot the film on real locations.

Did you ever have any scary experiences while shooting?

During the shooting, we laughed more and were scared less. When a pure horror film is made, there is a little scary atmosphere. But this is not a complete horror film. There was an incident where we felt a little scary. When we were shooting in Konkan, one person from the unit said that he was not able to sleep properly because he woke up at 3 am every night. He woke up at the same time every day. There were 20-25 people with whom this was happening. It happened with me too. We started wondering why is this happening to everyone? We got a little scared.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I believe in positive and negative energy. There are some places where you feel that you should not stay there for long. I have not understood the logic behind why this happens. If you ever go to a cave, there is such positive energy that you feel like sitting there for some time. Sometimes even in an open space, it feels like it is not worth staying there.

You have inherited film making. Your grandfather and father were also involved in film making, how and where did you start?

We had a theatre named Alka in Pune. It was run by my grandfather and father. After school, I spent a lot of time in the theatre. I got a lot of opportunities to understand cinema. My grandfather produced many Marathi films. I used to go to their sets. I learned to ride a bike on the set itself. The set became a part of my life. Apart from that, I did not know anything else. I had decided that whatever I wanted to do, I would do it in the industry only.

What kind of struggle did you have to face to make your first film?

When you come from a film background, you have to struggle less to make your first film. You have to struggle to make a good film. I made my first Marathi film ‘Uladhal’ in 2008. That was easy for me. At that time it was a multi-starrer film. I was taking the first shot and forgot to say roll action camera. After this I made 5-6 more Marathi films.

You did a new experiment in Hindi by making The Sholay Girl?

I had to make that film for Zee Five for International Women’s Day. I made that film based on India’s first stuntwoman Reshma Pathan, who worked as a stunt double for Hema Malini in Sholay. Bidita Bag played the role of Reshma Pathan. It was an hour-long film. That film had to be made in a very short time. During the shooting of the film, my leg got fractured and I completed the shooting of the entire film sitting on a wheel chair.

The next film Kakuda is also a horror?

This film can be called a comedy film, not a horror film. Sonakshi Sinha, Ritesh Deshmukh and Saqib Saleem have worked in this film. We have a habit of saying that it is a horror film. But the truth is that very few horror films are made here. I last saw the horror film Tumbbad. I was scared after watching it. The story of Kakuda is based on a true incident of a village situated on the border of Mathura and Rajasthan, which we have presented in a comedy style.

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