As the showman Subhash Ghai is back to direction with KAANCHI after a long gap of almost half a decade, one would expect him to be in an excited state. However, the filmmaker is in tensed and anxious mood right now. Ask him what makes him so fretful and Ghai gets forthright, ”Obviously, there is always tension and nervousness. If the film does well everyone cheers and takes the credit for it but when it flops only the director has to suffer; only he becomes the soft target. At present, I am just in the state of dilemma,” he says and adds, ”Firstly, I am coming after more than five years and things have changed drastically. And I am a kind of filmmaker who just gives importance to the subject, I don’t follow any trend. I don’t care or even bother if others are giving hits after hits.”
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KAANCHI releases today and has opened to mixed response. While Ghai is unfazed with the reaction of critics towards his lately released film, what irks him is when the assessors start comparing or judging his past work and write-off on the basis of that.
He speaks his heart out, ”What hampers my film, or what hampers the mood and confidence of a filmmaker is when the so-called critics evaluate the film on the basis of past work done. They judge the film initially and denounce it and those very people will come to you after 10-20 years praising the same film. Like for instance, when TAAL & PARDES was about to release, the media in general had slammed it in the beginning as they expected it to be on the lines of RAM LAKHAN or KHALNAYAK. I was very depressed and hurt. But after 15 years the same group of people came back to me saying how good they felt about the movies, which they had thrashed in the first weekend. That they can watch it 10 times a day and tag them as cult films now. So then why did you hurt me there? Why did you compare me then? All I want to urge everyone is don’t compare my old work or judge it with the past work done. KAANCHI is not RAM-LAKHAN, TAAL or KHALNAYAK. Every film has different fate.”
”KAANCHI is a story of young spirited girl and it should not be watched with a critical mind. It is today’s girl’s story, who refuses to break down or cry or take the pain in her stride. She is not 80s or 90s women who would sit back and be dependent of pitaji or baauji. This is not the age of Alok Nath or Amrish Puri. KAANCHI is a lovely film hope people don’t compare and ruin it unnecessarily,” he adds.
Ghai further defies saying that when a Spielberg film comes no one would want to do any sort of comparison. They would readily accept it.
So, probe Ghai if he is against critics and their pattern of work and he states, ”One should definitely watch KAANCHI. They should even criticize it, they should scrutinize and point out the mistakes also, if they feel, but they have the right to criticize a film. They should not condemn the director. One can call the journey of the film ugly but not the karta dharta, director. As he is simply telling a story.”
KAANCHI is extremely crucial for Ghai, whose last films haven’t done well. ”Yes KAANCHI is a crucial film. I have spent enough time behind it and worked on it for two long years. I have put my immense patience and faith in it. But obviously that’s with every film. Long time doesn’t matter; if something is exciting I will go ahead and do it. KAANCHI excited me because it addresses the issue of today’s angry youth, it gave me new avenues and it is an inspirational, powerful plot,” says the filmmaker, who has been in the industry for more than three decades now .
CHECK OUT: Will KAANCHI mark the comeback of showman Ghai?
Quiz Subhashji about the latest fascination of Bollywood filmmakers coming up with numerous women-based films and KAANCHI also being a triumph story of a small-town girl, and he says, ”Women issue films may have started coming up now. Suddenly people may have realised to make films on them but I wrote KAANCHI long back in 2011. I make films at my own space. Moreover, if you see my filmography I had earlier also made female-oriented films like TAAL and PARDES. Then in between I did KISNA, a male-dominated saga. So I am particular about what’s important, be it empowerment of a man or a woman.
While most his films were starry affairs, KAANCHI stars relatively new comers like Mishti and Kartik Aaryan (of PYAR KA PUNCHNAMA and AKASH VANI fame).
Ghai expresses with pride, ”My films never had stars. It has always been about strong characters. When I made PARDES, TRIMURTI, SAUDAGAR or VIDHAATA where were the stars? Subject has been the master of my films. DHOOM type films have stars. I have created stars but not featured them.”
‘Kambal Ke Niche’ song from KAANCHI quite reminds us of the chartbusting number ‘Choli ke Piche’ from KHALNAYAK, ask the filmmaker was it to create a nostalgia around it and also to the fact that it features Mahima Choudry in it, and he clears, ”No the song was not to create any nostalgia or whatsoever. It is a journey of KAANCHI. It is an item number but it cannot be compared with ‘Choli ke Piche’, which was created on bigger scale and production. It’s a random song and Mahima is also there in 2-3 shots only.”
Besides the newcomers, KAANCHI also stars Rishi Kapoor, who was the lead hero of Ghai’s KARZ. It brings the director and actor duo together after more than three decades. Since Rishi’s character in the film looks flamboyant, prod Ghai, if he used certain elements of KARZ and how has been his bonding with the veteran actor over the years and he says, ”No elements of KARZ have been used. Since Rishi plays a musical villain, one might feel so. Despite not doing films together, we were in touch. I think Rishi has improved a lot and become more disciplined now.”
Lastly, ask Ghai what prospects he is looking forward for KAANCHI at box-office and he says, I am not looking forward to box-office results. All I want is it must touch people’s heart as it’s an emotional story.”
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