Exclusive: Cargo actress Shweta Tripathi and director Arati Kadav share their experience with the film
In an exclusive interview, actress Shweta Tripathi and director Arati Kadav talk about exploring the sci-fi space, their journey with the film and a lot more…
Actress Shweta Tripathi’s recently released film on Netflix Cargo has left the audiences impressed and with praises coming from all fronts for this sci-fi film, both the actress and the director are super excited to explore the genre further. In an exclusive interview with us, Shweta and Arati share their journey with this one-of-its-kind film. \
1. Arati, Was Cargo meant for a theatrical release?
Honestly, as a filmmaker, when I was making the film my goal was making a feature-length film. I had a lot of struggle and in that, I felt that at least the film should get completed. So anything for me was a bonus. Since it’s an unusual film, I wasn’t sure how people would accept it. Because it's filled with absurdity. Even though we try to give it the best of theatric features and VFX, we were also optimizing the film for the festival circuit. We never thought going beyond that, it all depended on the response at festivals. As of now, we are happy to be on OTT, I am surprised with the reach of the platform. In theatres, sometimes films like these are not supported.
2. Shweta as Arati pointed out that the film was filled with absurdity, what was your reaction when you were offered the film?
It was very fascinating for me because I was stepping into space, literally, which I never thought I would be exploring. While growing up the kind of films we watched, thankfully, my parents also made me watch a Jurassic Park, but I also saw Hum Aapke Hai Kon twice in the theatre. Many film students watch a lot of good content while growing up, and in my case I used to watch all kind of content because we didn’t know what was good or bad, watching everything felt nice. Entertainment was the most important. When I met Arati and I saw the world that she wants to explore and the kind of stories she wants to tell, that was very exciting. Cargo happened later, before that I knew I wanted to collaborate with her because I wanted to be a part of that vision. When I read the script of Cargo I remembered that what I liked the most was the simplicity of the story. Even though it’s the sci-fi genre, the story is simple to understand even for a kid.
3. Arati, Sci-fi is a genre that is not much explored in India, so firstly a genre that is not much tapped upon, secondly, being a woman director what were the kind of challenges you faced right from pre-production to the release of the film?
There were challenges at every step. In India, the sci-fi films we try to do are copying the sci-fi from Hollywood. And we have not been able to match that level of opulence, nor could we culturally import those stories and root it in our culture. So, I wanted to make a sci-fi film that was rooted. Before Cargo I already had the journey of trying to make a feature film, I have had my share of rejections to a point. I had a film that was ready to be made, but the financing fell apart because they were unsure if it would work. Before starting Cargo, I had faced so much defeat that the only way for me to make Cargo was to find and identify people who were brave enough to support sci-fi in India and support me. I cannot make anything other than sci-fi. We all had a genuine love for what we were doing. I never asked for any permission, neither did I register my film with the film's association until recently. I was tired of asking people’s permission for making a film, and I was tired of hearing no.
4. Shweta, how was your experience was working on a film that is a blend of mythology and sci-fi, with you playing the modern-day Yamraj?
This had just left me hungry for more, there is so much that has to be explored and Arati has opened this door for me which has endless possibilities. As an actor and artist, there is much to learn and grow, the kind of upbringing both of us have had, that for us learning and growth is very important. That’s what my parents have told me and even Arati mentioned in one of her interviews. It’s been a great learning experience and has been so fulfilling. For me it’s just the tip of the iceberg, I can’t wait to explore more with Arati.
5. But Shweta, we have also observed that your choice of films is very unique, very content-driven, I remember, you telling me doing a film that was entirely shot on an I-phone, all your choices are very different, including Cargo. Is it a conscious effort to choose such scripts?
I get attracted to scripts which are a little different; when I read a script I see it like an audience. And I think if I will enjoy watching it or if I will enjoy being a part of it, my goal is to be excited about the film every day. And if the answer is yes, then I say yes to the project, films like Cargo, Masaan have so much depth in the story. So I get attracted to stories which are easy to understand and yet have a lot to say.
6. Arati, what’s happening next? I read you are making another sci-fi film soon.
With Cargo we had a very amazing festival run before its Netflix release, Shweta and Vikrant also won awards in Miami. So I am making another film which I am submitting to a lot of screenwriting labs outside India just to get their input. I plan to learn and grow, make better stories.
7. Shweta, what’s next for you?
There is Mirzapur 2 releasing in a month. There are 2 things that I have signed on for in the web-space, one is for HotStar, one for Netflix, which I am not allowed to talk about, they will announce it soon. So there is lot of exciting work happening.
Cargo released on Netflix this Saturday, September 12 and has been receiving great response ever since.
Interview by: Nawaz Kochra
Written by: Nawaz Kochra