It is impossible to write a story and then cast Amitabh Bachchan: R Balki
One writes a story for Amitji and never the other way. It is impossible to write a story and then cast Amitabh Bachchan as he is a character by himself,” says filmmaker R Balki, who completes 13 years in the industry with the release of his debut directorial Cheeni Kum in 2007.
Talking about starting his journey in films with the mature and quirky love-story, the filmmaker says, “I thought of an idea for a film with Amitji and as I love his sarcasm. He keeps a poker face while being sarcastic and wanted that in a character. I never thought of the concept as an old man-young woman but more as a Bachchan -Tabu love story. It was one of the few love stories without the words ‘I love you’. It was a fun film and many 50 plus people told me that it gave them a lot of hope.”
Having directed films like Paa (2009), Shamitabh (2015), Ki & Ka (2016) and Pad Man (2018), Balki admits that unconventional subjects and casting draws him. “There are many stories to be told but when one labours for two years on a film, the idea has to be exciting and different enough to last that long at least,” he says.
Weighing in on the recent debate about films releasing on OTT platforms vs in theatres, the filmmaker shares that “it is more about getting product out to the audiences”.
One looks at being economically viable and are there enough viewers. There are costs and economics involved everywhere. Everyone needs to adapt to changing times. We need to understand where everyone is coming from. If the audiences can’t come to the theatre, what is the battle all about. I think, there will be balance soon,” he says.
Like everyone else, he is also busy doing home chores during the lockdown, and adds that time passes quickly when you have chores at home. “You value people who have helped you all along. And though one has a lot of time, not much of writing is possible as one needs to be in the mental space to be creative,” he says.
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