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Pad Man director R Balki doesn’t categorise cinema, says films are either boring or entertaining

R Balki, who has worked with stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi, Akshay Kumar, and Vidya Balan, among others, talks about the ‘problem’ filmmakers face, the Padmaavat row, and more.

bollywood Updated: Feb 04, 2018 17:42 IST
Pad Man,Padman,R Balki
R Balki says he doesn’t believe in terms like social responsibility cinema or parallel cinema.(Yogen Shah)

Filmmaker R Balki is known for putting across his thoughts loud and clear for subjects that he feels strongly and deeply about. While his upcoming film Pad Man, starring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte, has been creating a stir ever since its trailer released, it reflects the fact that content-driven cinema is in demand.

Balki, however, says he doesn’t believe in any such ‘forced’ categories. “I don’t believe in this social responsibility cinema or parallel cinema. There is entertaining cinema or there is boring cinema. Bollywood has done responsible and beautiful films [even] 20 years ago, and you can still count on them. So, it’s not a new discovery of Bollywood. It’s only about changing economics. If you can, through a film, narrate a subject in an emotional way and not preach, that’s good cinema for me,” says the filmmaker.

It might not be easy to make the audience get adapted to watching socially relevant films or those talking about taboo subjects on the big screen, but Balki feels that burden of “the social nature of an idea” is what puts filmmakers in a tight spot. “The biggest problem is that filmmakers often get overburdened by the social nature of an idea and nobody gives a damn to how noble the idea is. So, one should never forget that,” he says.

Miffed with the protests that happened in the last three months against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat, which finally released 10 days ago, Balki retorts that it’s time people understand what cinema is meant for.

“Films should not be taken this seriously. If films could change the universe or reinterpret history like this, then we should be only making films and nothing else in the world. We should not have doctors, engineers or teachers. We should only have filmmakers, because they can change everything in the world — history, geography, and politics, too,” Balki laughs.

He goes on to add that no film and storyline should be blown out of proportion. “Films are not that powerful. They are just a work of fiction, a story of somebody’s imagination or somebody’s story interpreted in a cinematic way. It’s a very small thing in the overall scheme of lives. Why do we give it so much importance? We are just releasing films and not launching nuclear weapons,” says Balki, adding that he hates to see any film getting victimised.

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First Published: Feb 04, 2018 17:42 IST