uthor Jayabrato Chatterjee is back to direction after almost 22 years. Chatterjee has written novels like Last Train to Innocence and Beyond all Heavens.

The director, who made the art film Kehkashaa in 1985, now returns with an English film titled Lovesongs that stars Jaya Bachchan in a pivotal role. The starcast includes some dependable names like Om Puri and Rajit Kapur. BT talks to the director about his comeback film.


Tell us about your movie Lovesongs...
The story is actually about a grandmother and her grandson. The grandmother is played by Jayadi. Her character is a very complex character.

How was it working with Jaya Bachchan?
She is a delight to work with. She knows her art so well. The whole unit enjoyed working with her. She brings so much to the character you give her to play. The character she plays has many shades and only someone of her calibre could’ve done justice to it. I think I am lucky to have her in my film.

Is the experience of making a film different to that of writing a novel?
It’s very different. Writing a novel is a lonely journey. There’s nothing other than your pen and paper. Making a film on the other hand is a group effort. Any filmmaker who takes credit for the success of his film is wrong to do so. A film belongs to the entire unit. No one person can be responsible for a film’s success or failure.

Often people make films based on novels, but you haven’t done so despite writing novels...
Very few films that are based on novels can be called excellent. I think most films don’t do justice to the novel. But it’s not the filmmaker’s fault. A novel can go on for ever. There’s no limit to writing, but you have to finish a film within three hours. For that you have to be a brilliant editor and I am not sure if there’s anyone who can edit a novel that well.

Haven’t you thought of making your novels into film to do them justice?
I will never make films on my own novels. It’s like asking a parent to chop of some body part of his kid. But if someone else wants to make a film on my novels I won’t mind it.