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  Entertainment   Bollywood  19 Mar 2017  A trip down memory lane

A trip down memory lane

THE ASIAN AGE. | KAAVYA PILLAI
Published : Mar 19, 2017, 12:24 am IST
Updated : Mar 19, 2017, 6:12 am IST

Filmmaker Ritesh Batra on books and films, his new movie The Sense of An Ending, and what’s to come next.

The Sense Of An Ending (a special screening of which was done by Sony Le Plex HD), starring Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Harriet Walter, adapted from Julian Barnes’ book of the same name.
 The Sense Of An Ending (a special screening of which was done by Sony Le Plex HD), starring Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Harriet Walter, adapted from Julian Barnes’ book of the same name.

Ritesh Batra shot to fame with his critically acclaimed film, The Lunchbox, which garnered the attention and adoration of fans worldwide. Complex stories told in a simple, yet poetic manner seems to be this director’s forte. He is back now with another beautiful movie, The Sense Of An Ending (a special screening of which was done by Sony Le Plex HD), starring Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Harriet Walter, adapted from Julian Barnes’ book of the same name.

Q How did you decide on making The Sense of An Ending?

It’s based on this novel by Julian Barnes of the same name. I read the novel back in 2011, when it won the Booker Prize. I’m a big fan of Julian Barnes’ writing and I fell in love with the book immediately. A few years later, when the offer to direct the movie came to me, I started thinking about it.

The screenwriter had made really great embellishments already. He had created the character of Susie Webster, the daughter of Jim Broadbent’s character in the movie. She was just mentioned in the book, but he really gave the character life and it was a true adaptation.

Sometimes, a book is just remade into a movie and that never works out. Movies and books need to be cousins, not siblings. So, I was really excited. Nick Payne (the screenwriter) was a great collaborator.

Q Were you apprehensive about a comparison between the book and the movie?

It’s only natural to have comparisons. The process of an adaptation is to try to figure out how to create the story of a movie. In the book, the character speaks in first person to the audience and in a movie, you have to tell the story through relationships. You can’t have first person dialogue with the audience in the whole film. Movies and books are always compared in the short run, but in the long run, they have to live as complements.

Q What was it like working with such a talented cast?

It was great. It was a really interesting puzzle because we had legendary actors like Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling along with really young, soulful actors like Michelle Dockery and Emily Mortimer. Half of the story is set in the 60s, so we had to cast young actors, some of whom have never been in a movie before, so it was really exciting.

Q Could you tell us about the story of the movie?

This is the story of Tony Webster who receives a letter from his ex-girlfriend’s mother. How reading the letter forces him to alter the relationships in his life — like the ones with his ex-wife and his daughter as well is what takes us through the tale.

Q What future projects can we look forward to?

I just a shot a movie called Our Souls At Night starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, which is expected to release later this year.

I like to work at one thing at a time, but I’d love to make a movie in Mumbai after this —  and I’m looking forward to it!

Tags: ritesh batra, the lunchbox, julian barnes