Tweely narrated by Martin (not as Ray), directed with a dose of barbiturates by Anand Tucker, underscored with a plaintive cello and piano, this is among the most noneventful romantic triangles ever committed to celluloid.
It appears that Shopgirl, that seemingly whitest of whitebread romantic dramedies, was directed by an international jetsetter with desi roots:
Tucker, the son of an Indian father and German mother who was born in Thailand, grew up in Hong Kong and has lived in London since he was 18.
Rediff features a recent interview with the director, who is probably best known for directing the art-house hit Hilary and Jackie. Tucker (his father changed his last name from Thakkar) has also been tapped to direct a big-budget adaptation of The Golden Compass, the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
You are making a big jump from a comparatively small film like Shopgirl to the Golden Compass in the Pullman series. Are you worried about the change of pace?
Not at all. And I also know that the new film is basically a story about a little girl who’s looking for her family. I see the Golden Compass as yet another film that is full of emotions and life’s trials. And in that sense, it is not unlike the two movies I have directed.
Budget-wise, this is going to be a big film, isn’t it?
It could cost about $100 million, more than two times the budget of my previous two films. But then again what interests me about it is that it is still a story filled with emotions.
How did you get the project, given there was intense competition?
Persistence. I had a detailed treatment, with even sketches, and I approached New Line [the producers] with it. I have been lobbying and pitching this film even as I have been working on Shopgirl and other projects that did not come through.
How long have you been trying to get this film project?
Ever since the book came out, about 10 years ago. From the day I read the book, I have been passionate about it and now it feels like forever. I knew exactly how I was going to adapt the story, with its magic, witches and adventures, for the big screen. [link]
Tucker decided he wanted to become a filmmaker after seeing Taxi Driver for the first time. Hopefully the rather mixed reviews he’s been receiving for Shopgirl won’t inspire any Bicklesque behavior on his part.