LAZARUS HEROIFICATION: THE SEED OF THE IDEA
Updated: Jun 13
It was years ago in my childhood when the passion for cinema sprouted in me. It is the doing of my father who made me watch movies by V.Shantaram, K.Asif and Mehboob Khan. The journey started as a passion for storytelling while watching commercial movies with enormous landscapes, glorifying stars, and glamour. As I delved deeper into the history of cinema, I discovered that there is an ocean of great films which did not get the name and fame of commercial cinema. It is disheartening to be honest to see such wonderful masterpieces never being referred among the echelons of movie making that became popular in mass media. Take, for example, the movies of Mani Kaul, such a wonderful filmmaker who is just appreciated by cinephiles. Further, Márta Mészáros is a Hungarian filmmaker and screenwriter whose movies showcased the modern complexities of women’s lives. There are so many others like Henri-Georges Clouzot, Béla Tarr, Jabbar Patel, Ivan Iyer, Lav Diaz, Cirio H. Santiago, Miklós Jancsó and endless names can be talked about. The turbulence in my heart for the appreciation of these artists has always motivated and inspired me.
I have been going to the Akshara Library to work on ideas and concepts to write a screenplay. This stopped recently because of the post–production and distribution work for the film. I read a lot and came across this book by Hans Gross, Criminal Psychology. It is quite an interesting read as one comes to discover the peculiarities of crime and punishment. In this book a curious phenomenon was referred to which is called Lazarus Heroification, If we take this concept in its widest application we will classify under it all forms that contain the almost invincible demand for attention, for talking about oneself, for growing famous, by the people who have neither the capacity neither the perseverance to accomplish any extraordinary thing and, who, hence make use of forbidden and even criminal means to shove their personalities into the foreground and so to attain their end (An Excerpt from the book Criminal Psychology, Hans Gross). It came across to me as a unique idea to make a film. The next thing was to bring about a challenge to it.
I could have easily crafted a story on this wonderful concept. I knew that cinema is the art of visual abbreviation and one can concise thousands and millions of ideas in a film or even a frame if one will do it. Hence, I was determined to write a unique and challenging story. While walking on my way to the library, I used to see a Laborer shoveling sand in his cart. It was a huge one, and I saw him doing it every single day. His movements were like a machine. He made me remember the work of Vsevolod Meyerhold, the biomechanics of acting. That labourer translated into KAUSTAV my first character. A guy who loads and carries sand in his cart but is willing to fight when he is asked to do some extra work. He knows nothing will change in his life, but he is still fighting for it. I read a lot about Sigmund Freud because of my immense fondness for Psychology. His opinions and research on sexuality came across as another character ‘The Artist’. A man who has developed his conceptions about beauty as he has seen a lot while depicting feminine beauty in his sketches. Faith and worship are the most important aspects of life in Indian culture. It’s interesting when one sits and wonders about life and death and sometimes it all feels meaningless when it has to vanish one day. Faith gives us something to reason over death. It makes it unique and mystical. God entered the story this way. On the purview is it really ‘God’ we are worshipping or are we just worshipping an ‘Idea of God’? Hence, Aakansha came into the story as a girl who is an atheist and understands God during her visit to a church that changes her life forever. The other character is Deepak. He is the man who is an extreme lover. A lover who hurts himself to gain the unrequited affection of a girl. Someone who is a coward, someone who won’t step up at the right time and sway away. The final character in this film is a memory, a memory which binds all these lives. It connects them all, it binds them and drives their lives whether or not they know it. This is how the story came about and I began writing this film.