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'Audience should expect the unexpected'

That’s the mantra of the Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye director Dibakar Bannerji.. quizzed by Nikhil Taneja.

entertainment Updated: Dec 11, 2008 18:26 IST
Nikhil Taneja

After a slow opening, the ticket sales of Oye Lucky.. picked up a bit. But did you really think that a film with so many sub-plots and texts could attract the mainstream audience?
I have already proved you wrong since the movie is making profits in spite of the calamity.. the terror attacks. I only think of the content when I work on a project. And then try to balance my creativity with being practical. Oye Lucky.. is not a Welcome and can never be one. It can never get those trade figures.

I felt indebted to UTV because of the way they had promoted Khosla ka Ghosla. So I worked with them and made a movie within Rs 8 crore in the pre-recession market.. Both Abhay Deol and I cut our prices for the movie. And it’s paid off.

Both your movies have been about how conmen operate. Is there a subtext there too?
Wow, I never realised that. Maybe I’m a conman at heart too. But I wouldn’t say that Lucky is a conman. He is just a middle class boy, who happens to become one. I based Lucky’s character on a middle class kid who wants to be like the rich kids. As a kid, I’d feel the same way.

The main characters in both Oye Lucky.. and Khosla ka Ghosla had awkward relationships with their fathers. Did you have any problems with your father?
(Smiles) Yes, I was the black sheep of the family. My father wanted me to be an engineer but I didn’t even finish my IIT exam. I got a mark sheet with an ‘A’ written on it. My mother thought I’d got an A grade.

My father told her A stood for absent. I joined the National Institute of Design eventually, but got chucked out after two and a half years. I’m essentially a 12th standard pass. You can imagine how my father felt at that time.

So you were like Ranvir Shorey’s character in Khosla ka Ghosla?
I was much worse! At least Ranvir’s character used to help with the household matters. I just used to run away to meet my girlfriend all day.

Once my parents went out of town and I called my girlfriend over. They came back earlier than expected and found us both sleeping in the bedroom. Imagine my parents’ shock! The girl is now my wife, so we laugh about that when we look back.

Have you incorporated any specific incidents from your life in Oye Lucky..?
(Laughs) I was at the Delhi Public Library one day when I responded to a taunt from some Haryanvi kids who beat me up after that.
A similar scene in the film was shot five minutes away from where I was actually beaten up.

Why did you take so many fresh faces for Oye Lucky..? Khosla had quite a niche cast.
When I’d signed on the actors for Khosla ka Ghosla, they were not as big. Boman was new, Munnabhai hadn’t released, Vinay Shukla and Ranvir were struggling actors.

The movie took so long to make that they became known in the meanwhile. I take new faces because I want my films to be
authentic.

Two films down, do you fit in the Hindi film industry?
No, I will always be a misfit. I was a misfit in my family. Even among my best friends. I’m a loner.

In which genre would you classify Oye Lucky..?
A comic thriller, maybe. I’d like to believe that the only classification for my films is that it’s a Dibakar Banerjee film. Audience should expect the unexpected.