In Conversation with Mahesh Bhupathi - Break Point

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari’s first-ever co-directed sports drama docu-series Break Point was definitely one of the projects I enjoyed watching the most this past month. Released on 1st October, ZEE5 Original Break Point essays the journey of the legendary tennis doubles team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes. The seven part web series narrates the on-court and off-court journey of the duo from the late 1990s, and has been co-directed for the first time ever by national award winning filmmaker couple Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari. The series is available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions as well. I caught up with Mahesh Bhupathi about what it was like to re-visit those matches and memories again. 

What was it like to recall memories - was it emotionally driven or did you think about the technical aspects of the actual sport when it came to your biggest matches?

At the time, when you are competing, the emotions don't really come to mind. But honestly, in the last few months, kind of re-living the stories and having watched a lot of these matches, trying to spin the narrative that we created here, I appreciate them now even more. In the heat of the moment, in the heat of the match, you don't really think technicalities so much but more on the strategy of how to win the match. I definitely appreciate it a lot more now.

People can also recall events very differently, but did your perception shift at all in terms of when you reviewed your partnership and the matches?

Not at all, because we knew the results of the matches, so that definitely helped. It is hard to come up with two different narratives of a match which you know the results of. You may have a different take of one or two points but most of the time, it's kind of the same. 

What is it actually like talking about matches today - not like post-game conferences?

It's much easier to talk about the matches twenty years later. So much has happened - everyone knows the impact - short-term and long-term so yeah, it is much easier to talk about it now.

What is it like to talk about the personal dynamics and relationships involved?

The directors actually did multiple sessions with us - individually. We were continuously narrating a lot more content than you actually see, because they had to edit to make it into the episodic. It wasn't the first time necessarily talking about it, as our friends and family knew, but yes, in front of the cameras, it was different. 
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