Interview : Imtiaz Ali

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Butt grabbing, mouthing expletives, planting kisses on the lips – everything that could have made the moral brigade stand up, take notice and make noise has been hailed by audiences as ‘oh-so-cool’ when it comes to Imtiaz Ali’s latest outing LOVE JAA KAL. What could have been termed as sleazy has in fact aroused immense curiosity for this Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer that is easily the hottest film of July 2009. Imtiaz Ali explains why he believes that audiences of today aren’t averse of such scenes and the way he presented it to make it all acceptable.

What could have been termed vulgar yesterday is the new ‘cool’. How did you make it possible for LOVE AAJ KAL?
I didn’t want to mislead anybody who would have come to watch LOVE AAJ KAL. I wanted my audiences not to feel cheated when they see such few scenes that you mention. In fact while designing the promos, even I was contemplating whether I should expose these scenes to the audiences.

‘Nobody will feel inhibited watching LOVE AAJ KAL.’

But your film is mainly for family audiences. Weren’t you worried?
No, because all that is potentially objectionable in the film in the strictest of sense has been taken care of in the first promo. If you have warmed up on it, rest assured you will love LOVE AAJ KAL.

Kisses included?
Yes. Nobody will feel inhibited watching LOVE AAJ KAL. No one will hesitate walking into the film with his family. See, it’s the way you put a scene in the film and treat it. It’s up to the film maker not to make his film some fodder for perversion or lechery.

It’s heard though that people around you were not too comfortable with the idea of Saif trying to hold Deepika’s butt, then share an unabashed kiss with her in the car and also mouth some funky Hinglish expletives on a date.
True, some people thought that audiences may get an impression that the film was only about these things but I had my own viewpoint.

view LOVE AAJ KAL videos

view LOVE AAJ KAL videos

And what was this viewpoint?
That audience of today are really smart. They pretty much see the intention of the film maker and make up their mind to watch the film accordingly. We better start taking them seriously rather than attempt at fooling them by considering ourselves over smart.

Please carry on…

Let me share an anecdote from my experience during the making of JAB WE MET. Remember the sequence in the second half of the film when Kareena curses her ex-boy friend on phone? She goes on to say ‘Teri Maa Ki’ and a lot more. Did the audience feel awkward? Not at all. In fact they laughed during the entire scene and not a single soul came and told me that he/she felt offended by the language.


So what really is your target audience for the film?
The prime target audience is the younger crowd and that’s more by accident rather than planned. The film caters to them mainly because it’s this age group of audiences that goes on sees the films in theaters. Due to this, even when I am conceptualizing a film and then putting it on celluloid, I feel safe from my target audience perspective.

With music by Pritam and lyrics by Irshad Kamil, LOVE AAJ KAL – a co-production of Dinesh Vijan and Saif Ali Khan – is seeing a worldwide release on 31st July.

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