PODCAST| Angelo Acerbi interviews Ritesh Batra, director of the film Photograph.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
Ritesh Batra has become an internationally established director. After the success of The Lunchbox he landed two international films (The Sense of an Ending with Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent, and Our Souls at Night, with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford); he returned to India for his new film, a romantic bittersweet comedy that, as he says, could only happen in Bombay. Every big city in the world is demanding and pressuring but the combination of stress, love, social classes and tradition vs modernity that Bombay can give is unique.
Photograph: Rafi works hard to stay afloat as a photographer in Mumbai. Sharing his modest accommodation with other unmarried men, he sends his money home to pay off his father’s debts and dreams of a better life. One day he takes a picture of a young woman in front of the Gateway of India – and from this moment on he can think of nothing else. Miloni is a model student attending a school for auditors and is headed for university. Theirs are two irreconcilable worlds. When Rafi’s grandmother arrives, determined to marry off her grandson, Miloni agrees to masquerade as Rafi’s girlfriend. As the two begin to meet more and more often, Rafi shows Miloni, who has led a sheltered existence, unknown facets of their city. Ritesh Batra, who caused a sensation with his debut film The Lunchbox, returns to his hometown Mumbai for this bittersweet romance. In atmospheric images that exude a quiet charm, he almost casually depicts how social stratification divides Indian society and creates a sensitive portrait of everyday life in this megacity caught between tradition and progress.