Naman Nitin Mukesh Exclusive Interview: “I Don’t Feel Like A Newcomer”

Mohnish Singh |Oct 31, 2019

Naman Nitin Mukesh is the son of singer Nitin Mukesh and younger brother of actor Neil Nitin Mukesh. He makes his directorial debut with "Bypass Road".

Naman Nitin Mukesh, who is the son of renowned singer Nitin Mukesh and younger brother of popular Bollywood actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, is set to begin his maiden inning in Bollywood. After assisting such filmmakers as Abbas Mustan and Bejoy Nambiar, Naman Nitin Mukesh is making his directorial debut with the upcoming thriller Bypass Road.

Bypass Road stars Neil Nitin Mukesh and Adah Sharma in lead roles and is set to enter theatres on 8th November. As the movie races towards its release date, STARBIZ caught up with the debutant filmmaker Naman Nitin Mukesh and tried to know more about Bypass Road, how did he come about choosing a thriller for his debut, the impact on him of filmmakers he has assisted earlier, and much more.

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Image source: Instagram

The release date of your debut film Bypass Road is round corner. How do you feel?

To be honest, I don’t feel like a newcomer. I mean with all the education that has been given to me from my dad, brother Neil Nitin Mukesh, I don’t feel alien to this line of work. And obviously, having worked with Abbas Mustan helped me a lot.

Bypass Road is my very own baby. In that sense, yeah, it is exhilarating. At the same time, it is nerve-wracking because we have done what we do best. We have made the film and the crores of people who see it now, it is completely in their hands whether they like it or not.

Given that Neil Nitin Mukesh has always been fascinated by thrillers, did you choose this genre for your debut because it was a thriller or did you choose to assist Bejoy and Abbas Mustan because they are more into that kind of films themselves?

For me, I will start from before that also. When I was still being inculcated into actually getting into the industry, it was dad Nitin Mukesh Mathur who sat me down and he made me see Raj Kapoor’s films and Guru Dutt’s films.

You know, that is the real education what I keep referring to. It is not something that I could learn in school or college or something but by the time I got to an age where I could start working, start assisting, my brother was already in the industry and he started with a thriller.

He did thrillers again and again and I would always go with him on sets. So, for me, it has been very close to our heart - to be close to thrillers. And what we have realized is that if we manage to surprise ourselves, then we can manage to surprise the audiences.

Like, you know, I don’t want to ever work on a film where I can guess the ending. You know it and hence will never do justice. So, it is not about choosing or did I just take it because it was what was coming. It is actually what felt right. And if at that time anyone of us felt that it was not the right decision, we would not have made it. So, nothing has been done half-heartedly. We were all sure because we carried such a name that we had to live up to it, that making a wrong decision would not stand well.

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Image source: Instagram

Your dad used to assist Rishi Kapoor. Probably at that point of time, he might have been thinking of becoming a director but he did not become one. It turned out to be good for us, because we got a good singer. When you used to watch such movies what did those movies teach you?

I will tell you right away. It is about the connect. The way he made you put yourself into that man’s shoes, we are just seeing on a screen. I think that is the biggest learning. I mean stories change, actors change but the way a director puts his vision into your head and makes you feel what your character is feeling is something that is phenomenal. And it is something that does not come to anybody.

So Abbas Mustan and Bejoy Nambiar again are totally like two ends of the rope. Which one did you assist first?

I assisted Abbas Mustan first. In fact, I am proud to say that I have done every kind of films. I have done big banner films, small films, independent films and I have instructed Bejoy also who is a fascinating amalgamation of everything but technically, he is always pushing the envelope. So, for me, I mean having the education of the entire spectrum was important.

When did you start working on the entire thing?

I think in 2017.

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Image source: Instagram

In one interview, R Balki had said that the audiences haven’t changed but the filmmakers have. He said that audiences never looked for the template, directors thought we need a template. Do you agree with this statement of his?

The directors are the ones who paint the picture, the audience is the one who goes to the museum to see the picture. It is all about that. So, yes, I agree with him when it comes to the fact that filmmakers are the ones who are portraying it have changed with their thought process, with the influx of new technical ability, new equipment, new locations. And most of all, the budgets.

You know, when you have that kind of a power to shoot extensively, create extensively, it gives you that much of a freehand, because when you are still on paper, you cannot limit your mind. You know, you will write as per your heart’s content. But when it actually comes to executing, you have to be aware. You know this will probably turn out to be that much.

You know should we do it, should we not do it, will it affect if we don’t do it. There are a lot of things to keep in mind but having said that, I believe that times are changing, times have been changing, and times will always keep changing. There will always be something new. Tomorrow there will be a different thriller, bigger thriller.

Right now, my favourite thriller is Badla (2019). It was done so beautifully and even though it was in such a controlled atmosphere - maximum portions of the film were in one confined area - the way they connected to the audience was great. See, the audience wants that connect and Badla gave it to them. They gave that connect and that is why it worked.

The things and the changes that have come out today, do you think it is good for your film when this kind of receptivity is there?

Of course. It is so enabling for a maker that, at the end of the day, if I made these for candid I cannot please everybody if I  just stick to India that too I cannot appeal to 1,5 billion opinions, but the fact that they have become more accepting to a lot more things is what enables us to have that confidence that yes

I can make the film that yes okay I can make a film. It is not lavish and extraordinary, it is not. But I have confidence that much of the sect may be, they love that. They, I would say, are loyal to a genre and that is what works.

>>> Related post: "Drishyam" Full Movie: Top-Notch Thriller Film Of Ajay Devgn And Late Director Nishikant Kamat


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