'The film ('Jail') is not at all inspired by Sanjay Dutt's or anyone's life. It is a common man's perspective about how he gets into jail and how he gets stuck in a situation. It is about a middle-class family boy working in the corporate sector and how after one sudden incident, he goes to jail,' Bhandarkar told IANS.
To maintain the authenticity that he has always attempted to showcase through his films like 'Chandni Bar', 'Page 3' and the most recent 'Fashion', the director is also trying to get permission to shoot the film in real prisons.
'I'm working towards shortlisting three-four jails, but I have to first get the permission to shoot there. I want to shoot in real jails to bring authenticity to that narrative. As of now, I have been to two jails in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and to the Yerawada jail in Pune,' he said.
Though Bhandarkar wants to show all that he saw in those jails, he says it won't be possible due to time constraints.
'I saw a lot of things when I went to these jails. I would like to use all the aspects from the jails in the movie, but when one is making a two-hour, 15-minute movie, how much can one put in? I can't put in everything, but I'll try to add as much as I can to retain an authentic flavour,' he said.
This is Bhandarkar's second film with Mugdha after 'Fashion', while he is teaming up with Neil for the first time. But the director says he is confident that the young actor will pull off the role.
'I saw this boy in 'Johnny Gaddar'. He has a very smart face but at the same time, he has some fragility too. That's why I cast him. His face is so close to Parag Dixit, the protagonist of my movie,' said Bhandarkar.
The film will go on floors around March 10 and the shooting will end by May, said Bhandarkar, who has now also ventured into TV production through a show for Sony channel.
The director's production company, Bhandarkar Entertainment, is producing a series of 12 one-hour episodes. Each will be a story about strong and commanding women for the channel under their new concept 'Specials @ 10'.
Talking about his entry into the small screen, Bhandarkar said: 'The television and film industry are very much together now. A lot of people from the film industry are going to TV and vice versa. After 'Fashion', I wanted to produce something for television and Sony asked me to make 12 different stories for them.
'I had several women-centric ideas, but I couldn't make films on them, so I thought it would be nice to make one-hour short films on those. We offer a mixed bag on domestic violence, comedies, thrillers, love stories and relationships,' he said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])