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07-22-2009, 12:53 PM #1
'Saif too old, Shahid right for Kaminey'
All your films explore the dark side of the human psyche ...
Yes, I have been doing that right from Makdee, in which I tried to show life from the point of view of a child. As a child, I remember, one of my relatives was supposedly possessed by a ghost and we would take him to a Maulvi to get rid of the ghost. I was only 14 - 15 years of age and I was traumatised. Then as I grew up, I realised that I had to get this out of my system and so I made Makdee. I tried to do the exorcising with Maqbool and Omkara too but I think we can never get rid of our dark side. We get dark images everyday. But Kaminey, I would say, has the lightest side of that darkness presented in a humorous manner with some seriousness.
Where did Kaminey originate? Was it an incident or a film or a book that inspired you?
Four years ago, Mira Nair assembled writers from America, India and Canada to mentor ten students from Asia and Africa. This scriptwriting workshop was held in Kampala, Yuganda. A young writer from Nairobi showed me a script which was a story about twin brothers and what happens in their life in a span of 24 hours. It was like parallel cutting and I really liked that approach. Mira and I spoke about it at length and both of us felt that it was a typical Bollywood masala movie. I was in touch with that writer for the next six months. He also sent me another draft. Then two-three years later I asked him to sell me the idea. He was in need of money so I sent him some 4000 dollars and bought the script to make any time. I picked up that idea and added Bollywood masala and my dark and serious side to it. So now, one brother stammers and the other has a lisp.
I thought that it would be exciting to make. But it wasnít that easy. It was very tough and I had to work really hard. I would never like to make such a film again.
Evidently you took this film to several actors before you signed Shahid. How far is this true?
When I was working with Aamir Khan on Mr Mehta and Mrs Singh and we would sit together for drinks, Aamir would narrate two ideas to me and then I would narrate six to him. He would get excited about them and we would say we would work together. When I narrated this idea to him he expressed his desire to do this double role. Itís the same with Shahid and me. I must have narrated six other ideas to Shahid too but itís not necessary that I will cast Shahid in each one of them.
If we are to be so guarded when we are working together, it will not be possible to work. When Saif and I were working, I would do the same thing with him too. He too got really excited about this movie. But when I actually decided to make the movie, I genuinely found that Saif was a little over age according to the character and I wanted someone younger. So it was my choice, I never offered it to anyone.
Today I might tell a story to Shahid but I might make the film with Emran Hashmi. That doesnít mean I had offered it to Shahid. Shahid has offered me umpteen number of things. Kareena had said that she wouldnít work with anyone apart from me. If we were to go by that she would only have one release every three years and not be able to work in even three films during her career.
There is a huge difference between discussing and narrating and offering someone a film and I would like to clear up the rumour by saying that Kaminey was never offered to anyone else and so no one rejected it. This film wasnít ever offered to Saif. Saif and Aamir are very fine actors but ultimately itís about my choice.
Does the title Kaminey reflect young peopleís fascination for things negative?
I think todayís youth is more open to face their mean side. There is less hypocrisy and in time, that too will decrease. And something negative always attracts attention. I was at the airport and a couple with their little boy recognised me and started talking to me. The boy asked me ďUncle, what is the name of your movie?Ē and the father immediately said, ďI will tell you later. Not now.Ē I said, ďWhy will you tell him later? Itís not a maa-behan ki gaali.Ē And I told the boy that the name was Kaminey. That kid laughed aloud.
During Omkara, I met an MP, who was upset with me because of the abusive language in the film. I asked him, when there is a clash going on in the streets with a lot of abusive language used by people, do you really go and stop them? So why do you want us to portray what is not true? We are giving you an option to avoid watching the film by giving it an A certificate. I have the right to portray reality. But I feel we become very uncomfortable with our own language. Itís easy for us to say f**k but in our language we canít say it at all, only because that is our conditioning. We feel really offended in our language. But the youth donít care.
Your films have been critically acclaimed but have never been a big success. Do you think Kaminey will break that pattern?
I have thought this for all my films till now. I donít know. This time I have gone a few steps ahead in terms of the kind of audience I want to cater to. Inshallah, it should do that. But, god forbid, it may also not do that well. I only want Ronnie (Screwvala) to make money.
When you get stuck in your writing, who or what inspires you?
When I get stuck, I go to my friends, my co-writers. Most of the time, I get my solution. And it has also happened that I get such solutions that I have to ultimately stop writing. It has happened that we had written 70 percent of a film and suddenly a problem came up. We took it to a friend who told me that I would never be able to overcome this problem. So, itís better to move on.
What is your stress buster?
Tennis. Itís my best time of the day. I play from 6.30am to 9am and itís on my return that I compose most of my songs. I composed Naina thag lenge, when returning from tennis.
Does it bother you that your film is so much in news for your actors and their activities and not for the film itself?
I donít think so because ultimately itís my film. I feel happy that it is promoting my film. (laughs)
Most people consider
Maqbool your most perfect film ...
I donít agree or disagree because it is based on one of the best works of Shakespeare. The basic texture and the content of the story are well structured and I also had the best actors of the century: Pankaj Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.
Will you ever make a candy floss romance?
I will make such films one day. Itís part of my agenda that I have to go back to the time when I was 17-years-old and had fallen in love for the first time in my small town. I want to capture that. Right now I am too busy dealing with the structural part of the film, how to shock people with the structures, the curves and characters. Slowly, I will move to the texture of the film and when that happens I will be more close to reality in the real sense.
What are you planning to make next?
I had started planning much before Kaminey was released. I want to do one film a year. I am young right now. I have the energy and I want to translate that on screen. Right now I have three four projects on hand, but the Hrithik film is closest to start.
What is it called?
We havenít named it yet.
Is it going to be Harami, Kutta or something like that?
No no no..(laughs) its not going to be like that.
Is it a romantic film?
Yes, it is a romantic film.
Itís easy for us to say f**k but in our language, we canít say it at all, only because that is our conditioning
07-22-2009, 12:55 PM #2
07-22-2009, 01:48 PM #3
Thanks !!!<img src=http://www.orkut-scrap.net/img/Animated-Dolls/1.gif >