If you follow Bollywood, chances are high that you have come across the trailer of Mantra. With an ensemble cast starring Rajat Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin, Adil Hussain, Shiv Pandit and Lushin Dubey, the trailer blows you away. And you start looking forward to the movie’s release date. But before you start marvelling at the movie’s brilliance, how many of you know that the man behind the camera hails from Meghalaya?
Meet Nicholas Kharkongkor, the man behind the movie
With Mantra, Shillong now has its first film director from the city in Nicholas Kharkongkor. However this not the directors first brush with direction. In 2012, Kharkongkor also directed a spoof movie titled ‘Fair and Lowly’. It ridiculed Indian fairness cream ads and dealt with people’s fetish to look fair.
Kharkongkor started out as a playwright and even dropped out from the prestigious IIM Calcutta owing to his love for the stage.
What is Mantra about?
Mantra highlights multiplicity of issues which a lot of people overlook in their day to day lives. Set in 2004, in the midst of a nationwide ‘India Shining’ campaign, the film tells the intimate story of a family and its travails, and through it, the story of the New India.
The protagonist of the film is Kapil Kapoor, the founder of an iconic Indian snack brand in the ‘License Raj’ old India. But today – in 2004 – he is fighting a losing battle against a multinational that has taken over the market. But it is not just his company that Kapil is desperately trying to save; it is also his own wife and children who are battling their own crises.
So will the film be able to cast magic ‘Mantra’ on its audience?