He’s one of Hindi cinema’s most prolific directors; initially as a writer and later
as a writer-director, he has delivered many successful movies. Despite the fact
that it has often been said that Anees Bazmee’s brand of comedy will not work,
he has proved his critics wrong, yet again, with his latest release, Mubarakan.
The film did not take a flying start but is enjoying a good run at the box office.
Here’s the man of the moment in conversation with Suranjana Biswas
Mubarakan may not have taken a flying start but it saw a good jump in its collections on Day 2 and 3, followed by a steady run at the ticket counter. What were your expectations from the film?
To be very honest, I always knew I had made a film with a lot of love. There was no shortcut to making this film, and we did not use double entendre, item songs, buffoonery and slapstick comedy. The audience appreciated it a lot. I might have made films that were commercially bigger than this one but people have still showered unconditional love on this film. They all thanked me in the cinemas for making such a film.
How does the success of the film make you feel?
I feel elated. I think all films should do well. When a film does well, it changes the atmosphere. There is a lot of positivity. From distributors to the audience, everyone experiences a sense of satisfaction. This will also help the industry grow.
While you are known to be a great writer, Mubarakan had a separate team of writers. Was there any particular reason you were not part of the team?
We got a lot of writers on board. I have already done 55 films and I want to focus on directing. I love to come across great writers who can give me good stories. Writing requires isolation and a lot of time. Sometimes blank paper haunts me. Even when I am working as a director, I work on the script as a writer. I obviously offer my inputs and my team of writers always looks to me for advice.
In real life, Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor are family. Does this translate onscreen and help a film?
Yes, it does. They are really great friends. Arjun respects Anilji a lot. I think it’s their bond that kind of helped boost their camaraderie onscreen. Sometimes, it would make me feel good seeing Arjun come up with certain gestures towards Anilji in while shooting, and I feel it’s only possible when two people share a great bond.
You’ve worked with a different kind of team of assistants in Mubarakan. Was it a deliberate decision to work with the younger lot?
I never had a specific team except for some assistants, and most of them were busy on other projects. It takes a lot of time to write a film and start shooting it. The entire team was new and some were just 18 20 years old. I loved the experience of working with these kids.
How do you always come up with fresh content in comedy?
I have written films of different genres. I have written a love story including Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha but I believe comedy is the most difficult genre. People have forgotten how to laugh and hence it is quite challenging to make them laugh. Most of the funniest lines I have come up with happened on the sets. I am blessed with a good sense of humour, I like making people laugh. In the genre of comedy, it is mandatory to have a good script. People are still fond of films like No Entry, Welcome, Singh Is King, etc, even after ten years.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am working on four to five projects. Right now, I am in the process of writing a romantic story. I can speak about it only after the script starts materialising.