Director Anil Sharma has a huge body of work that includes blockbusters such as Gadar, Hero and Veer.
But he says some of his biggest hits -- Hukumat, Elaan-E-Jung and Tahalka -- released during arguably the worst phase of Bollywood, a period between 1985 and 1995.
“I am proud of the films I have made. Those are Anil Sharma brand of films. The Hindi cinema made during the ‘80s and ‘90s was absolute garbage. I don’t know whether I contributed to it or not. (Laughs) My films were striking gold during that period,” says Sharma.
Watch: Anil Sharma directed Dharmendra in Elaan-E-Jung
He says movies during the period revolved around stars, who were bigger hits than songs. “Stars like Mithun, Anil Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan were ruling the roost. Our idol worshipping continued. We were not watching a film, we were watching stars,” he adds.
Sharma acknowledges that the time changed for old-school filmmaking. “After Singh Saab The Great, people told me that it looks like an old film. This bothered me a lot, because I am someone who wants to keep up with changing trends and time. But, they said it, and I had to know the truth behind it.”
Watch: Anil Sharma worked with Salman Khan in Veer
“Then I started visiting places like New York, Los Angeles. I met Hollywood directors, but I had a longer filmography than them. But, I realised that only the storytelling technique has changed, the emotions are still the same.”
His honesty reflects when he talks about the boundaries of commercial cinema. “The confrontation between a commercial filmmaker and a critic is the director’s closeness to the reality. Dharmendra ji used to question my style, but I was convinced about my style. But, now I have realised that clapping during a particular scene is important, but the most important applause is the one that happens at the end.”
He gets even more candid. “I have started understanding cinema now. It took me so many years.”
Watch: A superhit song from Anil Sharma’s Gadar
Sharma, who directed his first film Shradhanjali in 1981, is set to launch his son Utkarsh now. “My son was there as Jeete in Gadar. He had gone to America for a four-year course in direction and production. The film’s name is Genius, and it’s going to be a sensible film. I will use songs for sure, but will also try to keep it as realistic as possible. We’re going on the floor in September.”
He also talks about Raj Kapoor, whose songs were as popular as his films if not more. “Once Raj Kapoor told me that he makes 25-30 songs and then makes a film. He said, ‘You can’t achieve reality with songs.’ Songs will create a fake world, so at least get it right.”
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