There's a movie called Baraka
and these guys to me are very funny because people look at these as a very cultural thing. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and people will say, "He ripped this from Baraka
." If you've seen Baraka
hopefully you'll do a little bit more research and you'll find out what a joke it is. People look at it as a very big cultural thing, but how they evolved was that in the 1920s a German guy went there and said, "You need some sort of gimmick to get tourists." He taught them this! But what they've done is taken this idea of storytelling and made it their own, which I love.
I wanted to take it that step further. I said, "You can't speak, but you have to tell me the directions around the world." I just wanted to turn it into a language. It's a musical interlude like they always do in Hindi movies. When you see a Hindi movie they just shoot everything in this shitty little corner in India and then to show the production value in the trailer they'll send these guys to Trafalgar Square and all these clichéd points where they'll sing in front of pigeons and all that and suddenly it's in the fucking trailer. I just wanted that as a joke so that we could say, "Hey, we travelled everywhere!"
For most people when the movie doesn't work it's because of its meandering, but the movie is about meandering. We're using one person as a storyteller and you don't cut to the agenda. You don't go from here to the third act - what he's doing is using his body language to make things more interesting. Hitchcock said, if two people have to have a conversation, let's cut to the bomb underneath. For me, I thought it'd be great not to show the bomb and to get people interested in the boring conversation. And, actually, in the second act you discover that there is a bomb underneath and it's all the more powerful then.