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    Default No sequel for Umesh Shukla

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    There is pressure now on Shukla to do a sequel to OMG right away. And the pressure comes from a very powerful corporate house pleading on a very significant reversal in religious ritualism precipitated by OMG.

    Explains Shukla, “This Diwali there has been a drop of 10-15 percent in the amount of donation given by the junta for pujas . I am told my film is responsible for curbing the obsessive tendency towards ostentatious religious rituals. I am being offered any amount of money to do a sequel where I say it’s okay to believe in God and to spend money in his name. But I am not giving in. I think the religion industry in our country got shaken by the impact that OMG had on the minds of the masses. I wanted to take the guilt away from the pure bliss of believing in God. If one morning we forget to recite the Hanuman Chalisa we spend the whole day feeling guilty and trying to find space to somehow fulfil the broken ritual. Why should religion be a compulsion?”

    Both Shukla and Paresh Rawal are keen to do a sequel to OMG. But Shukla wants to wait. “I don’t want to get typecast as the director who attacks religious dogma in every film. Next I want to do a film on the current scams and how consumerism has taken hold of our psyche. I also want to do a film on the man-woman relationship and how it tends to be misconstrued in modern times. As for OMG 2 I want to carry it forward only when I am confident of the plot for the sequel.”

    Shukla says there were pressures to make the film larger than life . “I successfully fought off those pressures although I had only one not-so-successful Dhoondte Reh Jaoge behind me. I was told to add colour and breadth to the chawl. I said, no thanks. I was told to make the Ganpati sequence stronger by 200 extra junior artistes. I cut the demand shot by arguing that the way I see my chawl the Ganpati would be the size that I imagined it to be, no bigger no smaller. It’s easy to succumb to the pressure of making a film larger than life. But that’s now how I saw my story.”

    Shukla also deviated considerably from the play. “In the film the protagonist Kanji dies at the end. So the last 35 minutes of the film marked a complete departure from the play.”

    When asked if his next film would be based on an original script Shukla quips, “Even OMG is original. I took only the basic idea of a man suing God from an Australian film. The rest of the story was mine. That my film has touched audiences on such a massive scale puts a big burden on me. Now what I do next would be carefully scrutinized. One thing is for sure. I don’t believe in brainless entertainers. And I’d never entertain them.”


 

 

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