Sometimes, the more you learn about something, the closer you are to its cause, the better you understand the reasons behind it. But the knowledge of the cause does not empower you with the ability to deal with it, to apply the knowledge to achieve any situation whatsoever that can be remotely called a solution. Other times, and quite rarely so, the cause behind a predicament seems to be the solution itself, once uncovered. Such miracles unlock higher levels in the game of life in general and unleash a lot magical realism in an otherwise un-filmic existence.
I believe that’s what happened to me. I came to Delhi, because my hometown had begun to smell stale to me. I always knew that I have a vagabond’s heart, so I did not plan the departure or the arrival. I came to Delhi, rented a flat, bought an internet connection and started planning a new life in a new city. Within a couple of days, I had no money left, so, I went looking for a job. With very subtle dishonesty, I even got a respectable job in a respectable medium. But one month later, on the eve of pay day, my dormant life was nudged awake by Delhi’s first foggy morning that year. I could not spend the winter at a desk. I resigned. I started writing a script for a short film. I managed to find a friend with a high-end camera who wouldn’t mind experimenting along with me. I managed to find a couple of other people in this city who were interested in being a part of whatever I do. But the short film wasn’t completed. We needed an empty room with blue walls, and I was too bankrupt t0 rent one by that time. We did find one such room much later, but 7 days of waiting for one had resulted in the cancellation of that project. I had written more scripts by then, and had started shooting half of them too. Why I did not plan the resources and a proper budget before I started shooting any film, is mostly because I was succumbing to a compulsive need to make films instead of trying to create something commercially viable. The result was inevitably, a hard disk full of rushes from half-finished short films.
With no sources of actual income, I had to leave my flat and shift to that of my friend’s, the same as the one who was being generous with the camera. Food and lodging was available for free, but there was no time to read or watch films or do anything that I would have liked to do in such a situation. That’s when the usual exercise in introspection started taking form on the edit suite. What I thought I could make was a new storyline, a new narrative out of the disjointed segments that have already been shot. That did not work out. I shot a few more documentary-like segments and recreated a few segments of real life situations that I felt would complement the otherwise chaotic narrative. That’s how Nothing Unusual was born. No, I would definitely not want this to be my first feature film, but that’s how things turned out. In fact, instead of me, circumstances directed the film. With repeated incidences of breaking the fourth wall, this half docu-fiction, and half docu-drama-like film is an accidental output of a series of failures, and there is no harm in admitting that. A lot of people’s money has gone into making this film, but it is essentially a 2-unit crew job.
The film is currently in its final stages, and slated to be screened publicly for the first time at the Bring Your Own Film Festival, 22-25 February 2013, at Puri, Odisha. It would be politically incorrect to say that this is a filmmaker’s narcissistic exploration of his own journey, because a lot of things that happened in Delhi in the winter of 2012-2013 have affected the film’s narrative.
Do check out a promo of the film as well to get an idea of what the film is all about.
By Twish Mukherjee