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Binnoy Gandhi’s Cinematic Journey: The Influence of Great Mentors

First-time director Binnoy Gandhi has taken the plunge into the world of feature filmmaking with his upcoming project, “Ghudchadi,” which stars stalwarts like Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon. Gandhi’s journey into cinema has been anything but conventional, marked by mentorship from some of the industry’s most respected figures. He has served as an assistant director to the likes of Ram Gopal Varma, Kunal Kohli, and Siddharth Anand. However, the most profound influence on his directorial approach comes from his filmmaker father-in-law, JP Dutta.

Gandhi openly credits Dutta for significantly shaping his understanding of filmmaking. “He is particular about his scripts. I get scared to discuss them with him, but talking movies with him makes me learn a lot. So much of what I have shot in Ghudchadi comes from him,” Gandhi shares. While working under other directors provided hands-on experience, the discussions and debates with Dutta seem to offer a deeper, more nuanced perspective on cinema that has proved invaluable to Gandhi.

The plot of “Ghudchadi” revolves around a grandmother, played by veteran actress Aruna Irani, who eagerly anticipates her grandson’s marriage. Little does she know that her son, portrayed by Sanjay Dutt, is also planning to walk down the aisle for a second time. The casting of Dutt and Tandon as the lead pair wasn’t a stroke of chance but a result of producer Nidhi Dutta’s vision. “Nidhi said that the older generation’s love story had to feature Sanjay sir and Raveena. They are like family to her. Raveena loved the script, and Sanju sir was blown away by the one-line concept. He treats Nidhi like a child, and said he had to do it as Ghudchadi is her first baby,” Gandhi elaborates.

Selecting Aruna Irani for the grandmother’s role was an instinctive choice for Gandhi. He extols her commitment and energy, “I could only think of Aruna ji as the grandmother, and she executed the role beautifully. I used to [shoot] from 7 am to 11 pm, and she would do it cheerfully.

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.” Such dedication from a seasoned actor undoubtedly brings a distinct flavor and authenticity to the film, ensuring the audience is treated to memorable performances.

Described as a slice-of-life comedy, “Ghudchadi” channels the spirit of the late Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cinematic style. Mukherjee, known for his simple yet profound storytelling, continues to be a beacon for directors who aim to create relatable and heartwarming films. Gandhi reflects on this inspiration, “He is one of the legends of Indian cinema. If I achieve even one percent of his vision, my job as a director would be complete.”

It’s evident that Gandhi’s filmmaking is a blend of various influences, but the towering presence of JP Dutta remains a cornerstone. Dutta’s meticulous approach to scripts and his vast experience add a distinctive layer to Gandhi’s style. Gandhi’s reverence for his mentor shows through in his careful crafting of “Ghudchadi,” aiming to marry commercial viability with narrative depth.

Gandhi’s journey also underscores the importance of familial and professional support in the film industry. His collaboration with his wife, Nidhi Dutta, not only enriches the film but also adds an emotional stake, making this venture a true labor of love for both.

As “Ghudchadi” inches closer to its release, the anticipation builds around whether Gandhi can blend the lessons learned from his mentors with his unique directorial vision. The involvement of cinema legends like Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, and Aruna Irani certainly boosts expectations.

The film industry and audiences alike are keenly watching, eager to witness if Gandhi’s homage to his mentors and inspirations translates into a cinematic experience that resonates. His aspiration to reach even a fraction of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s visionary legacy sets a high bar, but given the seasoned guidance he’s received, there’s a palpable sense of optimism.

In conclusion, Binnoy Gandhi’s “Ghudchadi” is more than just another film; it is a confluence of experiences, mentorship, and familial ties. It heralds the arrival of a new director eager to make his mark while paying tribute to those who shaped his journey. Whether Gandhi manages to evoke the charm and ease of Mukherjee’s cinema, only time will tell. But the buzz surrounding “Ghudchadi” sets the stage for what promises to be a captivating debut.