‘When I watched KGF, I was like, ‘What kind of world are we living in? Who are these people’?’
Rajkumar Santoshi is an angry man.
And it’s largely to do with the films of today, like Vikram Vedha and KGF.
The director, whose new film Gandhi Godse: Ek Yudh released last week, is upset with the kind of message some films send out.
He tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh, “The more violent you are, the greater the hero you are. What are you trying to sell? A young mind will adapt to that and feel that this is cool. Vikram Vedha showcases the same thing. He is standing on a vehicle and shooting. In my films, when the hero kills Danny in Ghatak, he doesn’t smile. He is sad that he had no other choice but to kill. That is called violence.”
Was there any pressure to prove your worth in a different genre after delivering successful social dramas like Ghayal and Damini?
By God’s grace, Ghayal was such a big hit that no one used to dictate things to me.
When I made Andaz Apna Apna, I decided I would bring in young stars.
For the music of the film, I made sure that it had to be vintage.
I gave a break to Tusshar Bhatia. He was under great pressure, though. Ramesh Taurani (MD, Tips Music) suggested that I take Nadeem-Shravan. But I insisted on Tusshar Bhatia.
Aamir Khan and Salman Khan agreed, and the songs are relevant till date.
How did you switch genres so efficiently?
It’s all God’s grace.
When I take on a subject and work on it, I get transported into that world because I write my own stories and dialogue.
I just go into that world, and that’s how I do justice to the film.
I was shooting for Damini, Andaz Apna Apna and Ghatak at the same time. The script-writing for all three happened simultaneously.
I used to talk about one film for a few hours, and after that, I used to be like, ‘Please bring me the scenes of Damini.’
There have been endless talk about the remake of Andaz Apna Apna.
Be it a sequel or a prequel, the rights to the film still exist with me.
I have a script ready. It is the same genre, but not a sequel. It’s different.
It is set in a different time frame and a different world, but the feel of the film is the same.
It matches the comic level of Andaz Apna Apna.
It may turn out to be better than that or may be mediocre; I don’t know.
But we are making sure that the level of humour remains intact.
It is titled Ada Apni Apni.
I will launch that around Diwali. Two young heroes and heroines are in talks for it.
When you make a musical comedy, it is necessary that the younger generation star in it.
Comedy and innocence go hand in hand. If there is no innocence in the comedy, it can turn vulgar.
A 50-year-old man chasing a 20-year-old woman doesn’t resonate with the audience.
Young people having fun together does not seem vulgar. Teasing one another seems natural.
Nowadays, people are bringing in 50 year olds to do romantic films. I have not done that until now.
Damini, which spoke about a heinous crime like rape, completes three decades this year. If you had to bring her into today’s times, how would you showcase it, and what would she fight for?
I will make sure it’s stronger.
Lajja was made with great anger. I was genuinely angry with our society, the way they treated women and the atrocities against women.
I recently read about Jalebi Baba, who has raped over 120 women. This is sheer nonsense.
A sense of awareness should be created.
What are our youngsters up to? They have departed from their path. I am seething with anger.
I am a follower of Bhagat Singh.
You are allowed to get entertained, but you must have social responsibility.
It’s a democratic country, and you are making the government. So you must think right and choose your government.
I recently saw a video where a woman was surrounded by people and she had a garland of slippers around her neck. She was being beaten up and men were standing there as silent spectators.
She must have been guilty, but the people who were watching it are guilty. Even I am guilty because I was sitting here, watching the video.
I feel I should make a film about such people.
I made Lajja in the same manner.
I might not be aware of the crime committed, but there is a system which practices a certain kind of punishment for crimes like these.
Who are you to take the law into your hands?
Do we have a moral responsibility to criticise the Taliban?
What good are we up to?
We are worse.
At least they aren’t pretending. We pretend that we are pure, and we feel that we have changed things for the better.
When I talk about this topic, I get riled up.
Our society is full of hypocrites.
What is your solution to this?
The solution rests in your hands. I am 64 now, and my medium is cinema, not politics.
As Asghar Wajahat does, the way he writes is revolutionary. His ideas are revolutionary.
That’s is why I told you to interview him.
When I asked some journalists if they interviewed him, they said they were asked to interview the stars.
If my film starred Malaika Arora, maybe people would not have interviewed me either.
They would have interviewed her and I would have been sidelined.
The media has a crucial role to play.
The whole problem boils down to selling.
The debacle I faced eight years ago was about selling because everybody is selling. Someone is trying to sell by using a particular producer’s name.
They are like, ‘Oh, the story is nice, but we want this hero to act in the film,’ And the hero will act only if his requirements are met.
He might say that he wants to do an action film, and the director has to write one for him.
It’s the same with the South Indian film industry. Take a look at the stars there and the films they choose. They are not up to the mark.
The first part of the film consists of action scenes, and there is this loud music being played in the background.
The hero gives an intense look, and there go your 10 seconds.
I saw Vikram Vedha. Hrithik is a great actor, but he got wasted in it.
A hero just crosses a bridge, and there is background music.
I recently saw a poster that had nothing but blood on it.
Blood cannot be a colour you get fascinated by.
He (the actor) has a shovel in his hand, and his body is smeared with blood. The more violent you are, the greater the hero you are.
What are you trying to sell? A young mind will adapt to that and feel that this is cool.
Vikram Vedha showcases the same thing. He is standing on a vehicle and shooting.
In my films, when the hero kills Danny in Ghatak, he doesn’t smile. He is sad that he had no other choice but to kill. That is called violence.
When I watched KGF, I was like, ‘What kind of world are we living in? Who are these people?’
I am very angry with the stars.
I do respect you. You are a superstar, and with that comes great responsibility.
As a film-maker, I have a conscience. I don’t have swear words in my films. There is no nudity in my films.
I make sure it is made with respect.
- The Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh Review
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