Team Super Nani – producer Ashok Thakeria, director Indra Kumar and lead actors Sharman Joshi and Shweta Kumar – in conversation with team Box Office India
Ashok Thakeria (AT): We were planning to release the film on Diwali but when we spoke to a lot of people, we reconsidered our decision because of three things. October 31 is a long weekend in the US and the UK, for Halloween. And there are two bank holidays in India. Plus, when they praised our trailer, we thought why not postpone it? The Diwali holidays are underway, so the film will benefit from that anyway.
BOI: Induji, after making films like Masti and Dhamaal, what made you make a family drama like Super Nani? Did you miss the genre?
Indra Kumar (IK): Yes, I was. Actually, there was a long gap before I made a family drama because there were other genres which had taken over in terms of popularity. Everywhere you look, there is that same kind of action, maar dhaad etc. So I thought I had to bring about a change. The audience was hungry for this kind of cinema so we thought this was the right time to make it.
BOI: But your films have all done well at the box office – Masti, Dhamaal, Double Dhamaal and Grand Masti. And when a filmmaker does well in a certain space, they tend to play safe by making more films in the same genre.
IK: We have never used that logic. When we made Dil, a love story, we made Beta, which was the opposite. Dil was a youth-oriented film and Beta was a family film. Similarly, after Grand Masti, we are now making Super Nani.
AT: The Censor Board was so stunned that we were submitting Super Nani after Grand Masti. We were waiting outside their office and they forgot to call us in. For Grand Masti, we had applied for an ‘A’ certificate, so we knew we would have discussions with them. But here we wondered why the Board was taking so long. So we knocked on the door and they told us that they didn’t expect such a clean film to be presented to them. Not only the scenes but the sound was also kept intact, without any cuts. And then they praised the film, lamenting the fact that clean films like this were a thing of the past. Post Baghban, this was perhaps the cleanest film they were watching.
Sharman Joshi (SJ): Completely! I think the sheer concept of the film is very exciting. Actually, at one point, Induji was planning to produce it and get someone else to direct it. When I finally got the offer after Ferrari Ki Sawaari, and I realised that he was going to direct it, I was on board. It’s a very exciting concept and absolutely up his alley. The sheer brilliance of his work is the fact that can he go to the ends of the spectrum effortlessly. This has been established several times at the box office. Now he is venturing to the opposite site of the spectrum, again. I remember when Induji was shooting the climax scene of Grand Masti, he was also simultaneously shooting the first aarti scene of Super Nani. He used to tell us how bizarre it was for him to do these two completely different films all at once. But that’s the calibre of the man!
IK: In fact, both films were shot simultaneously. Grand Masti complete kiya, Super Nani start kiya aur phir kuch scenes re-shoot kiye Grand Masti ke.
SJ: Also, the subject is a family drama but the subject is very progressive. A nani is not being given the dignity and respect she deserves. In terms of the attitude and the melodrama, there is no change in the way we have showcased the film. The nani takes a progressive stance in making herself self-sufficient. So it’s from her point of view, which is very progressive and young people will relate to it. So the nani is in India and the grandson is born and brought up in the US and he is the one who teaches the family to respect her.
BOI: Shweta, what excited you more… Rekha playing the nani; Induji, your father, directing it; or the script?
Shweta Kumar (SK): There were lots of elements, but the first one was working with dad and being directed by him. The second was working with Rekhaji, Randhirji and Sharman as well. And, of course, the subject was very exciting.
BOI: Sharman, what was the exciting part for you?
SJ: The sheer excitement of working with Induji and the fact that he had a great script. I think also with due respect to all the actors in the film, I think he would have made a great film anyway.