Last year, Punjabi movie Yaar Anmulle caused a laugh riot. This year, the much-awaited Jatt & Juliet made the wait seem worth it. It's the successful experimentation and the fresh look of these movies that made us love them. The man behind the hits, 36-year-old director Anurag Singh talks to HT City about the mantra of making sure-shot successes.
Before we get interrogating, it's his query that takes us by surprise. "Have you seen Jatt & Juliet yet?"
When informed that it's nearly impossible to get his movie's tickets, he adds, "I know. Even I haven't been able to get tickets to watch it with friends and family."
The obvious question is, what's making his movies so popular? "It's a simple theory - if the audience relates to the characters, the movie works. Another important thing is to have as much fun as possible while making the movie. If you've had fun, the audience will too. Besides, everyone likes a good laugh; I use personal experiences to add humour to the script," says the director, who hails from Jalandhar.
Anurag says that after Yaar Anmulle, Jatt & Juliet was an easy feat. "Yaar Anmulle was a hurried attempt. After the producers approached me, I wrote the script in just 25 days, and the movie was shot and released in the next couple of months. Neither the producers nor I wanted to cast any singers in the movie. When you make a movie with new faces, it's all the more challenging," he adds.
His streak of creativity, however, is not just two-movies old. Anurag worked on a lot of Bollywood projects earlier. He shares, "After doing my graduation in Media Arts from Deakin University, Melbourne, in 1999, I moved to Mumbai and assisted Raj Kanwar for seven years. I made my directorial debut with Raqeeb in 2007, which didn't do very well. I assisted movies such as Andaaz, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Farz, Ab Ke Baras, Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gayi and also wrote the screeplay for Ek Noor."
So, is he planning to stick to rom-coms? "Movie-making is a business, and producers only want to invest in 'safe' subjects. An overdose of comedy is also bad. I have been trying to find producers for a movie based on terrorism in Punjab. The subject is really close to my heart but producers are not willing to invest in it," he concludes.