Says director Priyadarshan, who returns to slapstick comedy with his upcoming Malamaal Weekly sequel
You replaced Riteish Deshmukh with Shreyas Talpade in the Malamaal Weekly (2006) sequel. Is that why you released the first poster with a rooster as you didn’t have a big star?
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal is not a sequel. The only connection between the films is a lottery ticket and a stranger who comes to town. It’s a new story in a different village so Riteish couldn’t reappear. Yes, since I didn’t have a superstar, we opted for a bird to convey the feel of the film.
Your film, Tezz was touted to take Bollywood to Hollywood. But since it bombed, are you playing safe with a trademark slapstick comedy?
Even after 32 years and 86 films, I don’t know the formula for success. I thought Tezz would be a trendsetter like Hera Pheri (2000), but I was too early or maybe, too late. Now Rajnikanth is the north superstar and it’s desi action that works, not stunts by Hollywood’s technicians. I tried to be different with Tezz and Aakrosh (2010). But now it’s time to give people what they expect from Priyadarshan.
If you were to remake Tezz down south would you keep Mallika Sherawat’s item number that you were forced by producer Ratan Jain to include?
There was no pressure, but it wasn’t necessary. I don’t remake my Hindi films down south. I make originals there and bring them here. Reportedly, after Aakrosh and Tezz, Ajay Devgn has sworn never to work with you.We met recently and he was cordial. When I get the right script, I’ll approach him and I don’t think these box-office duds will influence his decision.
The critics panned Malamaal Weekly.
Do you think they will be appeased this time?
To quote Alfred Hitchcock, “You can’t take reviews to the bank”. When I wanted to appease the critics I made a Kanchivaram (2007). Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal is for the masses. The critics are not important.