MASCARENES AN INTERVIEW WITH PULKIT ARORA

Mascarenes follows the crime world in India, where power and money dominate the market. Two eager detectives are on a quest to catch their suspect as they interrogate a complicit witness. As they follow her story down the rabbit hole, the plot thickens, and danger emerges.  For one pleasurable hour, Mascarenes will keep you on your toes – guessing, worrying and hoping.

CULT CRITIC – Mascarenes revolves around the crime world in India. What motivated you to tell this story?

Pulkit – Since childhood I was deeply fascinated by underworld drama. I always loved their style, their attire, the way they talk. Since it was my first project I wanted to make a film which I would love to watch on-screen.

CULT CRITIC – What were the biggest challenges you faced during production?

Pulkit – This whole project was a challenge. I had no budget, no actors, no location, nothing. Just a camera some lights and my friends. I lived by the word improvisation. So one moment I am the director next I was Antonio, camera man, light man, spot boy, what not? There were no professionals involved. I believe what I missed the most was guidance. I know I could have done a better job if I had a guide and some budget.

CULT CRITIC -You both wrote and directed Mascarenes. How did it evolve and change from script to film? 

Pulkit – Truth to be told, I just loved what I wrote. Even the reviews were great. It was just a wild and impulsive decision. I am amazed till date that I actually evolved the script from a piece of paper to the grand screen of cinema.

CULT CRITIC – Who inspired the characters?

Pulkit – All of us as children loved playing gangsters and each one of us had completely different personalities. All my characters were organic. If you remember, as kids, we all loved playing the bad-ass. But still we all play it differently. That is how my characters came into life. I observed each of my friend’s personality and advanced it into a gangsters character.

But Param walia’s character came after a very deep research.

CULT CRITIC –  The script takes place in a manly world but rests on one woman’s shoulders. What message are you relaying to the viewers?

Pulkit – Women have game too.

CULT CRITIC – Which films did you draw inspiration from?

Pulkit – This is my favourite genre. But if I have to name some:

  • Goodfellas – by Martin Scorsese
  • Scarface – by Brian De Palma
  • Reservoir dogs – by Quentin Tarantino
  • Peaky Blinders (series) – by Steven Knight.

CULT CRITIC – Many scenes played out in long wide takes. Tell us about your visual choices and direction.

Pulkit – I strongly follow Mr. Quentin Tarantino and idolise his work. I took inspiration from his movies and built up my own concepts.

CULT CRITIC –  The film has exciting twists and turns. Without giving away the ending, what do you hope your audience takes away from the film?

Pulkit –  I did not want to spoon feed the audience with the usual drama they see in the everyday cinema.

  • I wanted to keep the audience hooked to the storyline and leave them on the edge to feel the final blow of the story.
  • Not all the stories have a happy endings, or any ending at all.

CULT CRITIC –  In this dog-eat-dog world where power is everything, do you think there’s a chance for a change in India’s crime circle?

Pulkit – Hopefully.

CULT CRITIC – Tell us about your next project. What is in line for you?

Pulkit – Right now I’m working on a totally new and different project than the previous one. Basically, it will be a film where a superstar has a lot of questions regarding his life and a psychologist is going to help him find out the answers to his life.

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