Check out the first part of Imntiaz Ali's interview. A very satisfying one indeed. He takes the criticism on Rockstar sportingly. Its always a pleasure to chat up with film personalities when they are open to discussing their films. The second part is interesting as well. Hopefully it will be up soon.
Transcript of the interview
Each time I interview Kareena Kapoor or Shahid Kapoor main kehta hu kab kaam karoge aap Imtiaz saath. You have this Albatross (hanging around your neck) called Jab We met. Har film aap ki compare ki jaayegi usse...
Acchi baat hai, in fact every film will always be compared to every other film that any film maker does and its fine, its great.
The television viewing (Of JWM) is getting to the zone of a movie like Andaaz Apna Apna and like a Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I know a fan of jab we met, there is a girl in Kolkata and she watches the film every day. I have told Shahid about it, I have told Kareena about it. Shahid, apparantly has met her in Kolkata during the promotions of Mausam. She celebrates the anniversary (Of JWM) on 26th oct, 4th anniversary celebrate kiya hai abhi kuch time pehle...
God its crazy yaar this girl is watching it so many time. It’s a very strange feeling. I want her to stop watching it now and at the same time its thrilling that somebody loves the film so much. I always feel that after the film is made it belongs to everybody who likes it more then necessarily to the people who made it because I am not a fan of Jab We Met. I don’t watch it so many times. In fact there are a lot of things I feel that I could have done better, corrected or done differently.
You shouldn’t be stopping that fan of yours from watching that film because I think she will continue to do that.
What’s her name
Gili Sen from Kolkata
Talking about Rockstar, that is your current flavor. It has done well at the box office, you have a splendid performance out of Ranbir Kapoor. In fact after watching the film when I smsed my colleagues in my office, my reaction was that he is one of the best actors across all generations that we have today and he exceeded all expectations. Jo usme Shammi Kapoor ka ek dialogue hai ki bada jaanvar hai ye aapke chote pinjre me khaid nahi ho paayega, vo sach saabit kiya apne performance se...
Ha Mujhe aisa lagta hai maine kuch nahin sach saabit kiya, jab actor acting karta hai to wo khudi karta hai director ki rooh uske andar nahi aajati. Logon ko ye baat jarur pata hai hamesha se ki Ranbir Kapoor ek bada jaanvar hai, in the way that he is a very good actor.
I was telling him that I feel that people were already kind of subconsciously waiting for something to happen, something to come right and Rockstar kind of just became that.
Dialogues may be not that attention grabbing but they are working. I'll give u some examples, when Ranbir is saying that is wakht wo baat nahi karna cha raha tha and the elder brother says, "ab appointment le dantne ke liye" ya fir "ye chatniyo ki ladaiya lad rahe ho" you know those are quirky moments one waits for in an Imtiyaz Ali movie.
Hamare gharo me log aise hi baat karte hain
North me isi tarike se baat hoti hai. How do you feel when you get the desired reaction from people because these are not attention grabbing lines, these are very subtle lines, which are very matter of fact.
Its always so much fun watching your own film in theaters. You learn a lot. People in every theater will behave differently so when you are sitting over there and people react, you feel warm, you feel nice, they always behave different to exactly how you might have thought. Its nice when you see that certain things connect. What I have realizes now is that the obvious things they don’t connect and there is nothing in the movies that the audience doesn’t get. Aap had se had tak matlab jitna bhi subntle ho jayen aap ye soch le ki ye nahi pata chalega aur ye jo hai koi cheez hai jo chup jaayegi, film mein kuch nahi chupta hai, they get every thing.
You are saying that kuch nahi chupta hai aap ye baat keh rahe hain, and I think you are one of the very few film makers who are open to criticism, who is open to talking about your film, discussing about your film, which is I think a bit of a rarity in bollywood, sab achi achi batein sunna chahte hain. When you came to the press show after the first half ended, every one was excited, every one was happy that this is a very different sort of cinema; second half people had a few reservations. I am sure that you are already aware of it you have read the review as well. How do you react to statements ki yaar second half me picture kuch gadbadati hai ?
A lot of people are saying that the first half is nice and the second is … I don’t know slow, basically there is some discomfort. A huge number of people are also saying that the first half I was coming and going but the second half really did it for me. A lot of people from film industry are saying that. Of course there is a huge set of people who are watching this film every day, the point being that the film is reaching out and engaging people. Some people have come out very strongly. I got a very funny message and he says that, pata nahi kisne likha hai, 'bahot ghatia film hai aur aapko film industry chod deni chahiye aura apse ye umeed nahi thi tumne ranbeer ko watchmen ke kapde pehna diye woh watchmen hi lag raha hai woh koi Rockstar nahin lag raha hai' (Laughs) but logon ke apne observation hote hain.
In recent times in the social media if the movie is not working the kind of reaction which are negative can be huge but if the movie is somewhat working in a certain manner then positive reactions bhi definitely saamne aate hai aur Rockstar ke liye positive reaction bahot hai is me koi doubt nahi hai
We were talking about Jab We Met, you had a strong character for Kareena Kapoor and she delivered it like anything, in fact she just may have exceeded in many ways. People have said that may be Nargis Fakhri was not be the right choice. She looks very very pretty, there are portions when she is genuinely funny and all chemistry is showing as well but still people have reservations that may be she is not the best choice for the actress and apart from that there is one more criticism the rockstar part is fantastic, he has the madness ek artist ke andar ek junoon jo hona chahiye wo uske andar hai, lekin somewhere may be the love story mein ek shiddat shayad mehsoos nahi hoti.
Equal number of people are saying that why are you concentrating so much on the music and why is there so much stress on the development of music wherein the main thing for them was the love story what they enjoyed and what they were looking for was the love story.
There are certain things which may not be in your hand like a free Tibbat has been blurred, there are certain lines in the film when Ranbir says ki maine kiss kiya hai and sex bhi kiya hai sex has been muted. In a film in which we are talking about freedom of expression, don’t you think it’s a bit...
It's a bit ironical but let me also say that jo censor board hota hai that is the representative of government of India. They are not a group of free thinkers jo baithkar ke faisla karege ki kya aesthetic hai kya nahi hai unke bicharo ke pass guideline hoti hai, woh chah ke bhi woh bolege agar aapko A certificate me bhi aapko sex nahin bolne dete hain. Maine saare arguements diye, maine bola ki bachchon ko to batana chiye ki sex kya hota hai taaki phir woh safe ho jaayen, lekin the government of India says from age 14 or 12 or something will sex education start in India uske pehle sex ka zikr bachchon ko nahi hoga, ye government ki policy hai aur main bolunga ki main government aur Hindustan se zyaada bada turram khan hu to main aapko bataunga, is also not right. They are saying sir ye guide lines hai hamari hum yah aap matlab Ambedkar sahaab nahin hain ki usko change karte phire. They were very sympathetic, let me tell you because they didn’t say cut the flag they didn’t say cut the sequences they didn’t say ye kuch dikha nahi sakte unhone kaha ki India does not supports freedom of Tibbet, it supports the autonomy of Tibbat, I said sir ye to banner ho nahi sakta tha that we support autonomous Tibbet. This is the common man's voice. There was a whole political scenario, coming down to the point, I said to them if I blur it, more people will notice it. Hamein lakeer ke fakeer hona padta hai so I said mera to kaam ho jaayega to unhone kaha thik hai ho jaaye problem nahi hai magar ye cheez nahi kar sakte, so I said theek hai.
Rahman, how was the experience working with him and Mohit Chouhan. In Mohit Chouhan you have a voice which defies tradition, agar convention ki baaat kari jaye to, he does not follow the norms and I think that is the beauty of it because that’s what your character tries to say that he is breaking conventions, shehar me jo ek gana record ho raha hai
Wo nahi ga pata hai
Because woh tradition ko follow nahi karna chahta and that voice justifies it completely
Rahman sir ne hi kaha ke what about mohit, we were all very happy but as far as Rahman sir himself is concerned, maine zindagi mein itna open minded insaan nahi dekha, itna suljha hua aur normal middle class insaan, mager itna open minded insaan nahi dekha jo aapko ijazat bhi lene ki jarurat nahi hai aap kuch bhi kar sakte hain kahin bhi ja sakte hain, unka daayera itna bada hai aap kahi bhi ghoom sakte hai and woh aapko kabhi ehsaas nahi hone denge ki woh koi badi cheez hai. A R Rahman ke saamne kiski zabaan khul sakti hai.
I was reading one of your interviews, you were saying that during the song recordings, you used to get so excited, you used to tell Mohit ke yaar aap aise karo aap aise karo
Sur aur taal mai samjhata tha aur Rahman sir chup chap rehte the aur mujhe do minute baad samajh mein aata tha ki maine kitni badi gustakhi ki hai but wo insaan wo itna bada hai ki usko koi cheez choti lagti hi nahi hai.
You have a timeless moment in the film whenever Shammi Kapoor sahib and Ranbir interact, almost everyone unanimously really appreciated the jugal bandi that both of them they do in the film which I think was fantastic.
Hum bhi jab gaye the unke pass to he is saying, are you mad kya ho gaya hai pagal to nahi hogaye ho tum log ki mujhe keh rahe ho ki main acting karu, main to wheel chair pe hu, meri to ye problem hai, wo problem hai but phir unhone andar se actor hi hain aur wo karna chahte the, unhone kiya aur I think he has blessed us by being there and I am very happy as his friend. Matlab I am nothing compared to him or anything but I feel that as somebody who loves him I am very happy with the fact that before he went he did a film and he finished it completely.
And its looking very fresh I think
Vo aksar pain mein hote the matlab ek dafa to ye kehna pada mujhe ki Shammi ji bahot achcha kiya aapne to unhone kya kaha ki phirse retake kyu kar rahe ho, maine kaha Shammi ji aapka jo real ka jo pain hai na wo nazar aa raha hai shakal pe, to hum baad mein kare. He said, nahin nahin abhi karte hain, abhi karenge and just give me 30sec and ready and that pain was not there on his face.
What are your directorial plans. You are supposed to do a film for Sajid Nadiadwala?
Ya we have spoken, we have a commitment.
Hrithik roshan is there?
No no nothing mujhe lagta hai ki pehle sab se kahani aati hai kyu ki film ka tasavoor aata hai whatever suits that you should do that. Sometimes a producer doesn’t suit a story, ok Rockstar would have been a different film if lets say Illuminati films had produced it, it would have been a different film, better or worse I don’t know. In that way the story should always come first and then everything else should be, like casting process and Hrthik, no not at all. I mean I have met him once or twice.
You are writing a film for Saif's Illuminati Films...
There is a story, its called Cocktail. Homi is directing that and Dinu is producing and Sajid is writing a dialogue. Its my story so that’s my connection with it.
To be continued...