An Open Letter To Subhash Ghai


Dear Subhash Ghai,

Happy New Year.

No, this is not about Farah Khan's upcoming movie; this is about the year 2014, the year we are currently in.


Your past glories have been won in the past. But to remain relevant in a constantly changing modern society, one has to look ahead.

IF KAANCHI was made in early nineties, it would have been relevant. But today all these battles have been won and girls have come out to face even newer challenges. The conflicts of the nineties are not today's conflicts anymore. But you may say that some conflicts are universal. Then, their portrayal should not be fraught with outdated treatment and technical mess-up, especially since you spent a helluva lot in the making of this movie.

This is not all; there are some other pertinent questions that need to be asked. How do you choose your lead actress? Mishti could not handle the expressions or emotions you were expecting her to. Confused, she ran around like a lost rabbit… is the actor to blame or the director?


As far as the finer nuances of the film were concerned, let's ask; how does a 'chit of a girl' get employment in a political household just like that? The starting scene in the police interrogation room beats logic. This one is straight out of the sets of CID. The inspector who is being interrogated and beaten up (Chandan Roy Sanyal), suddenly lights up to tell the story…. If he wanted to tell the story in the first place, why did he take a beating?

Also how was he a friend of Kaanchi from Koshampa? That fact was never underlined. Even Mithun Chakraborty playing a politician with swollen cheeks (what did you stuff in his mouth?) and a stiff neck was a character straight out of KHALNAYAK. And Chintu? What did you do to him? 'Karz' tha I guess, so Rishi Kapoor agreed to travel to Koshampa!

Moreover, why was Chandan Roy Sanyal shouting ''Mahima Chaudhary'' when the yesteryear actress appears for a fleeting moment in a song? She is still recognizable, Sir. And what about the make-up of the man (Anil Mange) who plays the boy's father, who gets killed? His moustache was as plastic as his hair and performance!


In other words, the whole template of KAANCHI defies logic.

Times have changed; technically and creatively, things have improved… so why be in 1990.The old formula of a boy, girl, villain and revenge is stale and reeks of creative stagnation.You have given us some unforgettable films, so why regress?

Happy New Year

Sir, there is no dearth of writers or ideas, all you have to do is be willing to pay the price for good writing and respect the writers. And with money you can hire the best technical team.

I remember sitting in the front row in 2003, in a South Mumbai hotel at the release of JOGGER'S PARK music. You had mentioned then that films like JOGGER'S PARK was what you were always interested in making but could not afford the luxury of making such films. I guess you were speaking in context of 'commercial success'.

KAANCHI is contrary to that belief of yours. If creativity is your forte, and you are certainly in a position to take risks as a film-maker, why KAANCHI, which even Mishti could have directed in her sleep?

In today's times, commercial success does not mean mind-numbing concepts. Increasingly, directors are marrying great subjects with superb technical finesse. Then what is stopping you? I am sure it's not ego… the other word for death of a creative person.

Happy New Year, once again!

God Bless You
Martin D'Souza
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)