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Power of three?

Director Neeraj Pathak explains why his upcoming Right Yaa Wrong appears to have three directors — Sunny Deol, Subhash Ghai and him, and why took them two years to ready the film.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 18:36 IST
Hiren Kotwani

It’s one-of-its-kind event when three directors get together to make a film. That’s what makes Right Yaa Wrong, starring Sunny Deol and releasing on March 12, stand apart from the others that release that day. The thriller is presented by Subhash Ghai and directed by writer Neeraj Pathak. Considering that the film was announced two years ago, Pathak heaves a sigh of relief and hopes that all the hard work pays and everything goes right.

Refuting reports of Deol’s interference in Right Yaa Wrong, Pathak says, “We share a great rapport. Although he gave his inputs as an actor, I always took the final decision, like a director usually does.”

Fight club
However, he admits that Deol wanted to re-shoot certain portions of Right Yaa Wrong. “That’s because he had lost weight and felt a couple of scenes should be reshot to cover-up the changes. I thought that we could do with just some close-ups being reshot. Sunny understood my viewpoint,” the director clarifies.

On being prodded, Pathak reveals that Deol and he had differences while filming The Man, which he is co-directing with Deol. “When I’m right, he listens to me and vice versa. As a director of The Man, the final call is his. Our differences are creative. They are healthy debates. Initially, we’d take an hour off from each other whenever we fought. Later, a glass of lassi would do the trick.”

Reportedly, Subhash Ghai turned back-seat driver for the project. Bring this up with Pathak and he says that he’d be foolish to not incorporate changes shown by Ghai, “We’ve grown up watching his films. I wrote my first film, Pardes, under his guidance. Only when I was convinced about his suggestions, that I incorporated them in the movie.”

Apart from the aforementioned inputs, the director also added a couple of scenes that were suggested by those who saw the film’s mock trials. “Most of our trial audience felt that there were not enough scenes showing the friendly bonding between Sunny and Irrfan’s (Khan) characters. So I added two scenes to highlight their bond,” he states.

Late arrival
It’s believed that they wrapped up filming last April. Quite obviously, Pathak attributes the delay in release to the multiplex strike: “Yes, we did wrap up the shooting last April. But due to the strike, the film producers’ guild said that all the films that had announced release plans would get priority. Since we weren’t getting a clear week, our distributors suggested we postpone the release.”

Still, Pathak feels that the delay in release won’t affect the film’s viability because it’s only the industry insiders who know the actual shooting dates of the film.

Cricket fever
“The audience will judge the film when they seen it. Kites took considerable time to reach the finishing line, but it’s a big film. Wanted took long to complete. But the audience didn’t judge them on that. Right Yaa Wrong looks fresh. I’m sure no one will gauge the delay from the print,” asserts Pathak.

Though Indian Premiere League also kicks off on March 12 and multiplexes have decided to screen the cricket matches, Pathak remains undeterred, thanks to the support of the marketing team of his producer. “If we were clashing with five films, then the number of theaters and shows would have been affected but not in this scenario. I’m confident of my product. Even previously, films have worked despite cricket tournaments in the country. I’m sure word-of-mouth publicity will help us too,” says the director keeping his fingers and toes crossed.

Coming up
Pathak’s priority is to wrap up The Man. The economic slowdown in 2008 forced producer-director Deol to downsize the budget from Rs 55 crore to Rs 40 crore. But Pathak is not complaining. The meltdown encouraged us to re-work the budget without making any compromises. The Man is an international spy thriller film. We’re just left with 25 days of shooting. We’re planning to release it this December,” he lets in.

Pathak’s not worried about the film’s leading lady, Shilpa Shetty’s changed marital status. “The schedules changed since we had to re-work the budget. Sunny told Shilpa to go ahead with her wedding plans. She’s a friend. So there are no issues,” Pathak concludes.