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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

100 cr for Grand Masti would be a great benchmark for adult comedies: Aftab Shivdasani

Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama   September 19, 2013
First Published: 10:52 IST(19/9/2013) | Last Updated: 17:21 IST(19/9/2013)
Grand Masti is doing huge, actually real huge business. The film is being patronised in a big way by the adult audience, both in multiplexes as well as single screens. With 60 crores already coming in 6 days, the film is seeing some good sustenance at the box office. No wonder, it has turned out to be the unlikeliest candidate of 2013 to actually take a serious shot at gaining an entry into the 100 crore club. No wonder, Aftab Shivdasani, whose last release 1920 - Evil Returns was successful too, is ecstatic to the core.

A superhit already and en route to be a blockbuster. How did you guys make it possible Aftab?
By not carrying any pretence whatsoever! Induji (Indra Kumar), Riteish, Vivek and I - all of us understood that we had to do the film with full conviction. If that wouldn't have been the case, Grand Masti wouldn't have worked. Of course all of us had apprehensions around the jokes. What you see is the end result but there was a lot that went behind making sure that none of us ever appeared in any kind of doubt whatsoever.

Weren't you apprehensive ever of jokes, most of which were below the belt and practically stayed there forever?
No that wasn't the case since we knew from the very beginning that the film was not meant for children under 18. Yes, we were conscious of the fact that a small section may find the film vulgar. But then to please them, we didn't want to deceive our target audience. See, we were in the middle of one of the wildest college reunions that you have seen on screen. It is also the funniest and that is something that was made possible since our communication with the content was very clear. We were not making any bones about what we were doing.

From the maker of Dil, Beta, Raja and Ishq, were you expecting something like that?
But then I have worked with Induji in Masti and Daddy Cool as well; they had his brand of comedy so I wasn't really surprised. I know the kind of flavour that he likes; his kind of comedy is not subtle. Moreover, he is so good as an actor as well. It is very important to follow him well. In case of Masti, we had a seven day long workshop. For Grand Masti, even though we couldn't unfortunately have a workshop, the precedence had been set from the days of Masti. Induji felt that it wasn't necessary for us to do any rehearsals and just be spontaneous. 

Guess it's the spontaneity between you, Riteish and Vivek that has worked big time for Grand Masti.
Honestly, our chemistry is unimaginably better than what it was even in Masti. I am glad that there is a huge audience out there which is finding is fantastic. However, such good timing also comes from the fact that none of us ever took ourselves seriously. We couldn't have done a satirical film and not made fun of each other. To top it all, since in any case we were making fun of ourselves, none of us ever felt offended when someone pulled our legs or played pranks.

There was no Ajay Devgn this time around though to play pranks.
I know. Ajay was such an integral part of Masti; the film wouldn't have been as big if not for Ajay. Unfortunately though there was no room for such big star and magnitude in Grand Masti. It wouldn't have been fair on part of makers to underutilise such a big star. I am sure though that Induji must have communicated the same to him. He was missed for sure since he was a huge value addition.

Well, the film is creating quite some value at the box office with chances of it actually doing the impossible and hitting the 100 crore mark.
Well, I am hearing such numbers being thrown around by the media. If we look at the cost of production, the film would have been a hit even if the collections were much below 100 crores. However if the film indeed touches 100 crores then it would be a great benchmark for adult comedies. The kind of buzz that it has generated after the release has been fantabulous. The film has found major acceptance all over. Now we can just hope and pray that it continues to find an audience and eventually hits some more major milestones.
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