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Fanney Khan director Atul Manjrekar: It was difficult for artists to get opportunities in the ’80s and ’90s

Fanney Khan director Atul Manjrekar reveals that his first film as a director talks about how passion gets buried somewhere under duties.

bollywood Updated: Jul 31, 2018 16:18 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Fanney Khan,Anil Kapoor,Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Atul Manjrekar makes his directorial debut with Anil Kapoor-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Fanney Khan.

He’s directing a full-fledged commercial film for the first time, yet when you talk to him, he exhibits the confidence of a veteran. Atul Manjrekar was quite sorted in his head about how Fanney Khan should have shaped up.

“It’s a musical. In the 1980s-90s, there were a lot of talented people who could sing, dance or act, but there weren’t much opportunities. It was only in the 2000s that reality shows came in. Now, if you are a singer, you will definitely get a chance to show your talent to the world. If not at a talent show, then you can make a video of yourself and post it on YouTube! There wasn’t all this before. Also, at a certain age, sabki shaadi ho jaati hai, and in search of a sustaining job, the artist inside you can’t grow or shine,” he says.

Anil Kapoor was always the first choice to play the role of Prashant, a musician who fades away with time. “I have to thank Rakeysh (Omprakash Mehra) sir for this. I assisted him on Aks (2001) and Rang De Basanti (2006). He called me one day to ask if I would like to direct a feature film, and offered me Fanney Khan. Anil sir liked the original film (Belgian film Everybody’s Famous) when he saw it, and decided to co-produce it. I came in later,” tells Atul.

Fanney Khan tackles a very crucial issue of body-shaming in today’s time. Anil Kapoor’s character’s daughter (played by Pihu Sand) is a good singer like her dad, but is a bit overweight. For this, she is ridiculed by people. Atul explains, “For me, the whole film is about appearances. In fact, even Baby Singh (played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is someone judged just by her appearance. When I was writing this character, the first lien I wrote was ‘she is the most beautiful woman in the country’!, but she’s on the other side of the extreme.”

Interact with the author on Twitter/ @RishabhSuri02

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 16:18 IST