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Thank God It’s Friday

Approach every film as if it’s your first. And never fear failure because there’s always another Friday

This industry is all about Friday. As they say, Friday can either make or break you. I am not the only director who works on one film at a time. But like many other directors, I too believe that if I fail to deliver on Friday, there’s always another Friday.By sticking to this conviction, we work on one film at a time.

Having said that, God has been kind and so has my audience, who has always loved my movies. Since I make all my films for the audience, I am happiest when the audience leaves the auditorium with a smile on their face.

Apart from being an art, filmmaking is a risk too. Sometimes, you think a particular subject will work with the audience but they think otherwise. So, even if you’re working on two films simultaneously, there’s always a risk. It’s the nature of the business. What if he delivers two consecutive flops? I work on one film at a time although I may be working on the script of another film.

So I plan one film while executing the other.There are directors who take up too many projects to fatten their bank balances. I look at it another way. Why spend myself in a short span of time and why not spend me in a long span of time? After a point, when every film of yours does well, and you’re in the limelight, I don’t want the uniqueness to fade. That is why I delayed Golmaal 4. We released each film in the franchise after a gap of two years. I didn’t want to over-expose the franchise. I wanted the hunger to stay alive.

I also wanted to wait for the right subject. I didn’t want to cheat the audience, just to cash in on the Golmaal brand. I could make an average film out of Golmaal and I know people will watch it. But it wouldn’t be honest. It would be like a business.The audience would feel cheated and I don’t want that to happen.

I think I have been successful because I am honest about what I do. Let’s be honest – even commercial films have good content. There’s a lot of content that goes into making a hardcore massy film. If your intentions are good or you’re afraid of failure, the result will not be positive and vice-versa. Returning to the theme of this being a Friday-to-Friday industry, I began with films that didn’t do well. Then I did Golmaal. I also did another film that didn’t do well. So I am no stranger to the Friday phenomenon. God forbid, if my one film doesn’t do well, I am not worried. I know I will make a comeback with another film.

A filmmaker must never be afraid of failure.Alternatively, never take success for granted. So, even if you prove you’re a successful commercial director, you can’t afford to be complacent. You have to look at every film with a fresh approach, as if it’s your first film, and give it 100 per cent.The secret is to approach every film you make with the same humility as when you were making your first film.I am often accused of making the ‘same kind of movies’. When people say this, they’re mainly talking about me making vehicles ‘fly’. What’s wrong with that? Public memory is very short. Given my present success, people may ask me what would happen later. The kind of genre I attempt, my own Golmaal was released in 2005 and Priyadarshan’s Hera Pheri in 2000.

We are talking 12 years ago. Before that, there was a trend of hatricks, such as the hatricks of the David Dhawan and Govinda films, which began in 1989. Much before that, there was the great Manmohan Desai. I am sure he too faced the same accusation as he always believed in the lost-and-found formula. Times may change but commercial films will always be the ‘in-thing’.

My favourite director today is Raju Hirani. His films always have a commercial element, fun moments and, above all, asocial message. Look at the way he presents them. While watching his movies, you laugh and cry but walk out of the cinema hall after enjoying the film. He presents his films with a social message but in a very commercial way.I have been raised on movies made by Vijay Anand, Manmohan Desai, Brij Sadanah and Nasir Hussain. I love the movies of the ’60s and ’70s – Johny Mera Naam, Jewel Thief, Amar Akbar Anthony, Majboor, Don and Sholay. How many people know Brij Sadanah, who made movies like Victoria No 203, Chori Mera Kaam, Yakeen and many more? He is among my favourite filmmakers.

Let me end this column for Box Office India on a note of criticism. People point out that while all my favourite directors had super-hit music in their films but my movies have only average music. Well, I am making super-hits one after another, so imagine what it would be like if my movies also had super-hit music! How much business would those films do or will do?Keep guessing!!!

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