‘We like to take a look at a screenplay as a spiral staircase.’
‘You by no means know what awaits at the subsequent turning.’

IMAGE: Bobby and Sanjay, famous person screenwriters. Photograph: Kind courtesy BobbyAndSanjay/Facebook.com


The brothers Bobby and Sanjay are arguably the most related and unique screenplay writers in Indian cinema at the moment.

Functioning completely in Malayalam cinema, Bobby-Sanjay’s screenplays in Ente Veedu Appuvinteyum, Traffic, Notebook, Mumbai, Uyare, Salute and Kannekkanne have earned the brothers the place of being the rightful heirs of Salim-Javed’s legacy.

Subhash Okay Jha catches up with Bobby and Sanjay in a uncommon dialog.

The names Bobby-Sanjay have come to imply explosive extraordinary screenplays in Malayalam. How do you react to the fame that your gorgeous screenplays have created?

Bobby: We see it as the achievement of a childhood dream of ours to make it huge in cinema. At first, our fascination was for the entertainers of these occasions, largely Malayalam and Hindi movies.

Though we typically do not write such movies ourselves, they had been our basis stones which led us to the world of cinema.

We by no means meant to carve a path for ourselves as screenplay writers. It simply occurred so. Probably the viewers might relate properly to our tales.

Sanjay: I’m comfortable and grateful that almost all of our screenplays have been accepted by the audiences and critics.

When we strategy a film we search for themes that elevate us as writers and human beings.

Personally, the writing course of is a purging expertise that makes me comfortable.

So when individuals settle for our motion pictures it’s a affirmation for me that no matter I went by way of throughout the writing has resonated properly with the audiences. That for me is nice fulfilment.

I do not imply this in phrases of simply large field workplace success. Sometimes it is about reaching and being accepted in areas that we wished it to be.

IMAGE: Dulquer Salmaan in Salute.

I’ve watched practically all the movies that you just two have written from Ente Veedu Appuvinteyum to the current Salute. I see no connecting sample in your writing. Who are your influences as screenwriters?

Bobby: We try to guarantee that no two movies of ours are comparable in any means. And it is tougher to us as writers to create completely different tales with completely different premises.

Sanjay: We try not to return to tales that we now have explored as soon as. It’s an area we now have already inhabited and repeating it could possibly be monotonous with out providing something new.

New ambiance and atmosphere are what make writing thrilling since you are there for the first time and you’re discovering new issues alongside the means.

For me, every kind of cinema — world and Indian — have been an incredible inspiration. There are many writers and screenplays which have had nice affect on me.

Also, my studying has helped me rather a lot when it comes to characterisations and depth.

Certain individuals I meet, sure incidents and moments that I come throughout, information articles; I get materials from nearly all the things and in all places.

Observing life is what I typically do to find tales.

The closest parallel that I see to your collaborative screenwriting superstardom are Salim and Javed who blazed a path in Hindi cinema in the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. What do you consider Salim and Javed? You have the identical clout in Malayalam cinema that they did.

Bobby: Personally, I’ve been significantly impressed by writers like P Padmarajan, M T Vasudevan Nair and Salim-Javed. Their characterisations, dialogues and build-up of the plot factors have influenced me very a lot.

Sanjay: Salim Javed are amongst our favourites and we now have watched all of their motion pictures. Most of them, at the least thrice or much more.

I really feel when it comes to Indian industrial cinema, they’re the biggest and to be in contrast with them is nearly embarrassing as a result of we very properly know that we’re nowhere close to. Their screenplays are textual content books for any movie pupil.

And no, we do not train the identical clout they did and we by no means will. They are HUGE!

Tell me about your starting as writers. How did the two of you determine on writing collectively? You are from a movie household, however was it powerful getting your first few breaks?

Bobby: We studied in Corpus Christi School, which was run by Mrs Mary Roy (whose daughter is novelist Arundhati Roy). She was very eager that each one college students ought to try and develop their inventive expertise.

We used to write and direct performs throughout these occasions. Our faculty has helped us rather a lot in that means.

Initially, we by no means knew which profession to select in movies, however by the late ’90s, we realised screenplay writing was our greatest alternative.

Sanjay: Our father Prem Prakash is a movie producer and he was very prolific throughout our childhood and teenage years. We had been virtually born into motion pictures.

Our mom, who was an English instructor, insisted that we learn. So it was a potent mixture of films and books.

For so long as I can bear in mind I wished to be in the motion pictures and it was a coincidence that each of us liked writing.

So it was a fairly natural choice that we’d write collectively.

After school I went on to be an assistant director to the very talked-about film-maker Kamal.

Our first break didn’t come painlessly. Even our father rejected just a few of our screenplays.

We began with a TV serial Avasthandarangal, which our dad produced.

Later, happily for us, he appreciated the script of Ente Veedu Appoontem and produced it.

The indisputable fact that we began with a director like Siby Malayil helped us and our profession to take off.

Ente Veedu Appontem did properly at the field workplace and fortunately from there we did not have to battle a lot for work.

How do you brothers collaborate? I ask this as a result of writing is such an isolating endeavour. Then, how do you ideate and write collectively?

Bobby: This is the query we now have answered the most variety of occasions.

We have a rapport which allows good discussions and sharing of concepts and ideas.

We do have variations of opinion whereas on scripts, however we accept what’s finest for the movie.

We additionally really feel two brains are higher than one when it comes to writing since one particular person could give you an thought which the different particular person could not have considered.

Sanjay: Yes, writing certainly is figure completed in isolation and we do precisely that! We work individually on every story and are available collectively for discussions to share one another’s ideas.

This provides extra layers and dimensions to the story.

IMAGE: Prithviraj Sukumaran in Mumbai Police.

My favorite script of yours is Mumbai Police. The final half hour when Prithviraj’s character’s sexual orientation is revealed was a shocker. Do you purposely assemble the plot right into a shocker? Is there a component of emotional manipulation in your writing to maintain drama?

Bobby: I really feel drama ought to be included in a script with out affecting its stream and logic. Minus drama, any film will probably be dry and boring.

We often construct a narrative and try to embrace dramatic conditions which simply gel with it. If it’s pressured, it’s going to negatively have an effect on the storytelling course of.

At the identical time, a screenplay with out drama, battle or surprising turning factors will probably be a catastrophe.

Sanjay: Real life is at all times our uncooked materials. We try to find the extraordinary in the abnormal. What appears easy needn’t at all times be easy. That’s mainly our principle as writers.

When we really feel a spark in a thought or a narrative we sleep on it for some time to see if it stays with us. If it does not, we do not pursue it.

A theme or a thought has to actually hang-out us or compel us into writing it.

There are occasions when a thought strikes and we really feel it’s good, however the subsequent morning we wake to find it doesn’t excite us in any respect. If the pleasure stays, then we make it right into a film.

We strategy a screenplay not simply as writers, however as the viewers too. We guarantee that the viewers in us is totally proud of no matter we now have written. So maybe the rigidity is the results of that.

I’m not certain if manipulation is the proper phrase. We mainly journey with the story and character and consider the numerous paths it might go. But we be certain that these paths are logical and in tune with the story and character.

We like to take a look at a screenplay as a spiral staircase. You by no means know what awaits at the subsequent turning.

I really feel that is what makes each story fascinating. ‘What subsequent?’ is one thing we’re continuously conscious of whereas writing a film.

Seeing your impeccable craftsmanship, why are you two restricted to Malayalam cinema. Bollywood wants you desperately.

Bobby: Bollywood is an business completely completely different from ours. In truth, our motion pictures have been remade in Hindi and we’d love to work there. But we would wish an individual properly versed in Hindi to translate our dialogues.

While a traditional Malayalam movie typically takes lower than a yr from pre-production to launch, Bollywood movies could take years to occur. That too is a constraint for us.

Of course, if all the things falls into place, we’re positively .

The pan-Indian attain of Bollywood movies are large in contrast to Malayalam, and as writers it will be an enormous opening for us.

Sanjay: We have lot of commitments right here in Kerala. We would positively need to try a hand in Bollywood if we’re given the inventive freedom that we get pleasure from right here.

We are large followers of Hindi cinema and Hindi music from childhood. So if all the things falls into place we would write a Hindi film.

I consider you could have introduced a revolution in the pay scales for writers in cinema. Why do you suppose writers are so monstrously underpaid in Indian cinema?

Bobby: I really feel the state of affairs has modified. Writers are paid properly nowadays. Probably the purpose why they had been/are paid much less is {that a} film is marketed primarily on its star solid.

People on the technical facet are given much less significance as a result of they work unseen. But now the scene is definitely altering since the viewers take a look at who the director and author are earlier than deciding to watch a film.

Sanjay: I believe issues are significantly better than it was earlier than the place a author’s job was thought-about to be clerical.

In Kerala, writers are usually not solely paid properly, but in addition given the respect that is due to them. There is an understanding that content material is king.

If you give you good content material, you develop into a vital a part of a film by default. People pay attention to you.

IMAGE: Anoop Menon in Traffic.

Which are your favorite scripts?

Bobby: All our scripts are private favourites, however for those who ask me particularly, I’d say Traffic is my most favorite, adopted by Ayalum Njaanum Thammil and Kaanekkaane.

I consider that when the remake rights of our script is offered, the involved author and director have the proper to modify it in accordance to the nativity/sensibility of the language it’s remade into.

Sometimes they do ask us to undergo the new script, however at the finish of the day, they need to take the last name.

Sanjay: Personally, I haven’t got favourites amongst our motion pictures. Each film comes with its personal experiences and explorations. Each of them is a studying for me each as a author and as a person.

There is a type of discovery that occurs with every. For me, we now have tried completely different genres and every style comes with its personal challenges.

As I stated earlier, writing for me is not only about the end result, however the way it impacts me as an artist.

You appear to have a particular rapport with Rosshan Andrews? Why? Who are the different film-makers you want working with?

Bobby: Roshan is sort of a youthful brother to me. We have recognized one another since the final 25 years. The means he approaches a script is superb. He is at all times filled with vitality and can go to any extent to make an ideal movie.

Our script is like our child, and as soon as we hand it over to Roshan, we’re assured that it’s in the most secure of arms. Another director whom we get pleasure from working with is Manu Ashokan.

Sanjay: Roshan and I am going a great distance again. We had been assistant administrators collectively.

There is quite a lot of understanding between us and that makes our collaboration easy and fulfilling. We have a standard outlook in the direction of cinema. I really feel we come from the identical faculty.

We have loved working with each director of ours.

What are your forthcoming initiatives?

Bobby: We take a mean of six months to write a screenplay. There have been ones which took us greater than a yr too.

Our forthcoming movies are with Rosshan Andrrews, Manu Ashokan and Vivek (Athiran).

Sanjay: We take a very long time to full a screenplay. We do numerous analysis and we write at the least three drafts. It might take anyplace between 8 months and one yr.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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