Shekhar Kapur Reveals Theme of ‘Masoom’ Sequel

Renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (“Bandit Queen,” “Elizabeth”) has revealed the theme for the sequel to his 1983 directorial debut “Masoom.”

Written by Gulzar (Oscar-winner for “Slumdog Millionaire” song “Jai Ho”), “Masoom” was an adaptation of Erich Segal’s 1980 novel “Man, Woman and Child.” It followed a happily married couple and their two daughters whose lives are disrupted with the arrival of a boy who is the man’s son from an earlier affair. The cast included Naseeruddin Shah (“Taj: Divided by Blood”), Shabana Azmi (“Halo”), Jugal Hansraj (“NRI Wives”), Supriya Pathak (“Tabbar”), Saeed Jaffrey (“The Man Who Would Be King”) and Urmila Matondkar (“Rangeela”).

The sequel, titled “Masoom… The New Generation,” is about the “idea of home,” Kapur told Variety. Kapur was in London for the National Film Awards where his last film, Working Title/Studiocanal production “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” scored nine nominations and won four awards including best director, best British film, best screenplay (Jemima Khan) and best supporting actor (Asim Chaudhry).

“If you look at ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?,’ you realize it was a joint family system, which in that part of the world lasted a long time. And not just India, but across South Asia,” Kapur said. “One of the big things has been happening is that kids have been moving away – from small towns to Mumbai, Mumbai to the west. They go out for their education and don’t go back, and every time I’ve talked to them there is this little thing that bothers them, a guilt that never goes away, a feeling that ‘I left my parents’.”

Details of how exactly “Masoom… The New Generation” ties in with the 1983 film are under wraps. All Kapur will reveal at this stage is that it will revolve around a couple in their eighties who are in a crumbling house and will involve “generational change.”

“When when you talk to people about home, the first thing they say is that it is property, it is real estate and the second thing they say is ‘What’s it worth?’ The real estate value of your house becomes much more important than what the essential idea for home is. And home is, what is it? It is memories – people growing up, the walls have memories, the sofa where you sit down is a memory. Everything is a memory. So I’m taking that fundamental idea of what is home,” Kapur said.

Kapur debuted as an actor with “Ishk Ishk Ishk” (1974) and acted in several films before turning director. “Masoom” literally means “innocent” and the filmmaker seeks to return to an era of innocence with “Masoom… The New Generation.”

“I was looking to do a film that I could go back to being naive, almost, because ‘Masoom’ was from somebody who’d never made a film before, didn’t know how to make a film, went in and made a film, had nothing, no technical competence or experience or skill to fall back on – so just fell back on telling a real human story,” Kapur said.

“Whenever I look back, and even when I look at ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?,’ I realize what I was doing then and I’m doing now is making all characters very human, because that’s how I see them – very human. So ‘Masoom’ is the way of going back to just making the stories of the simplicity of being human and the complexity of being human but staying human and the story being human,” Kapur added.

“Masoom… The New Generation” will be produced by Kapur via his Quasar Films.


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