Don't want audience to empathise with my characters: 'Aamis' director Bhaskar Hazarika

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Director Bhaskar Hazarika says he wanted to present the two leads in his latest 'Aamis' in such a way that the audiences would not feel a sense of empathy towards them but at the same time, not judge them.

The Assamese feature chronicles the story of a lonely, married woman who bonds with a younger man over their shared love for unusual food. As their excursions become more adventurous, their relationship begins to take a dark turn. It stars Lima Das and Arghadeep Barua in the lead roles.

'Aamis' might appear wild to some people, but Hazarika said there is no central theme to the story. 'There are so many themes... One point I wanted to make is about society, as a whole, judging people who commit crimes because they are not better than their peers. I believe anybody and everybody in this world is capable of committing a crime due to the circumstances they find themselves in.

'The idea was to show two people who are just like them and everything is going well but suddenly life takes a dark turn. It can happen with anyone and if they do commit a crime there is a system in a place to punish them for it. They could do without society's judgement,' the director told PTI in an interview.

He said it was by design that the lives of the film's protagonists take a dark turn, since the aim was to provoke the people.

'It was deliberate because we wanted to provoke people. We wanted people to be provoked by something the characters did that makes it very difficult for them to empathise with them eventually where the climax plays out.

'I feel like this kind of provocation helped in getting whatever reactions that we had from people so far. It helped them to not at least judge the characters by end of the film, if not to empathise with them.' Hazarika said the basic idea came to him when he noticed two people quietly eating food at a food court.

'The idea came when I just randomly observed two people sitting in a food court together eating some kind of meat. What I found striking about it was that they were not looking at each other. They were not talking.

'But at the time same, they were interacting with each other through eating their portions of meat. So, I felt they were still connected even though they were not.' 'Aamis' is being presented by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who had appealed to his followers to not miss the film.

Hazarika said Kashyap came on board after watching the film at this year's JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

'When the film finished and we pulled back the curtains, Anurag looked up and his first reaction was, 'So finally in India someone has made the film like this'. Since then we have talked about the film. He told me all the things he likes about it. We are very grateful for his support.' The director said he tries to stay grounded when he is being appreciated but he believes it helps in getting financiers for the next project.

'I don't need any special kind of encouragement or any more encouragement to make films because that is what I do. But the kind of response the film got in MAMI, it makes it a little easier to set my next project. So in that context, it was great the way the people in MAMI sort of embraced it.' 'Aamis' released countrywide on Friday. PTI RB RDSRDS