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Imtiaz Ali on Jab Harry Met Sejal’s poor reviews: Never wanted to make an intellectual masterpiece

Reacting to critical reviews of his latest film with Shah Rukh Khan, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali has said he never intended to make an intellectual film out of Jab Harry Met Sejal.

bollywood Updated: Aug 06, 2017 15:52 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Jab Harry Met Sejal,Imtiaz Ali,Shah Rukh Khan
Imtiaz Ali during the promotion of Jab Harry Met Sejal in Kolkata.(IANS)

Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali has brushed aside criticism that his “touch” was missing from Jab Harry Met Sejal, saying he never wanted praise for himself while making the movie. Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma play lead characters in the movie that hit theatres on Friday.

Imtiaz Ali along with actors Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma during the promotion of Jab Harry Met Sejal in Kolkata on August 5. (IANS)

“I am sure that a lot of people do not think that Harry Met Sejal is an intellectual masterpiece, but I did not intend it to be one,” Imtiaz Ali, a respected auteur known for his work in Jab We Met, Rockstar and Highway, told reporters at the film promotion.

The Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer romcom has drawn flak from reviewers who have called the flick mushy and churned out from the same oven having typical “SRK romance” and bereft of any storyline.

Imtiaz, whose movies have a central theme of relationships and their vagaries, said he has never belonged to the “intelligent club” and always aimed at making this film for the masses. “Some said you really need to be intelligent to understand an Imtiaz Ali film. For me that was a blow. I feel that I have never been part of any intelligent club. I wanted to make a very simple film with all my heart,” Imtiaz said.

“I have not made this film for praise. You know I would like to be the director who can make different kinds of films. This one is made to reach the maximum number of people. Not to just get praise for myself. I have been a veteran at this. When Tamasha released, lot of people praised the film but the film was not reaching the audience,” Imtiaz added, answering a question about the reviews the film has got since its Friday release.

Shah Rukh, who worked with Imtiaz for the first time, echoed his director, saying the magic of Jab Harry Met Sejal will take time to latch onto people. “I have not seen Imtiaz Ali’s previous work. I have always believed the film should go beyond the subject and create some magic. I also believe people come with pre-concieved notion that they have seen already,” the 51-year old actor said.

“I am speaking on his (Imtiaz Ali’s) behalf. I think sometimes the bigger feeling is to try something new. I have been in the business long enough to try a formula film and to try a film with no formula.”

“Succeeded and failed at both. So, I understood that I can’t even try to recreate the magic. Take Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, for example. I have worked with Adi (director Aditya Chopra) again. Me and Anushka have (in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi). But there will never be another DDLJ,” Shah Rukh explained.

“So every writer or director does not want to go back to the same magic because he/she does not know how it was created. Some critics have talked about the magic being missing. I think he would not like to recreate that magic that he has done in the past. This one has a new magic. It’s a new trick. Maybe just the newness of it is going to take some time for people to understand the magic of the film. Working with Imtiaz was quite magical,” he added.

The film revolves around the two characters and how Sejal (Anushka) bumps into tour-guide Harry (Shah Rukh) and together they set off visiting the exact same spots that she and her family visited -- in the hope of finding her lost engagement ring.

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First Published: Aug 06, 2017 15:16 IST