Saif Ali Khan: Love Aaj Kal was a good movie, but nobody breaks up with a girl like that

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan wants to do characters that are more ‘rounded’ and reflective of society. He says that better films are being made now but the ideal point is still a long way off.

bollywood Updated: Dec 19, 2017 14:06 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Saif Ali Khan,Kaalakaandi,Love Aaj Kal
Saif Ali Khan’s film Kaalakandi will release on January 12.

In the 25 years that he has spent in cinema, Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan has played a wide range of characters in various film genres. And today, his assessment is that Bollywood movies fail to reflect Indian society, which is why the films can’t establish a connection with the masses.

“I think a lot of these films aren’t reflective of reality; [and] I think smaller films are. It’s not often that I do a scene, and say, ‘Oh, this reminds me of something that I’ve done before in my real life’. Even the romance is a little different from how it actually is,” says Saif. Citing the example of Love Aaj Kal (2009), Saif, who turned producer with that film, with himself and Deepika Padukone in the lead, explains, “Love Aaj Kal was a good movie, but I don’t break up with a girl like that. Nobody behaves like that.” In the film, the two lead characters mutually decide to break up at a point when they know they’d be living in different countries — they predict that a long-distance relationship wouldn’t work and that there’d be quarrels. And so, they go their separate ways. Just like that.

The 47-year-old Saif now wants to focus on playing characters that are “more grounded and realistic”. He says, “They should be speaking the right language because in our country, not everybody speaks Hindi. But in our films, everyone speaks in Hindi, so that’s a bit odd. I mean, even if the character is speaking in Hindi, he needs to be from a certain background, because there are only a few people of a certain background who speak Hindi all the time.

“But if you are showing a guy, like, in a posh nightclub talking to a rich babe, most likely that conversation will be in English. But we don’t show that. We show it in Hindi. So that’s why there’s a connect issue, and that’s why those films don’t do well, [while] a film like Dangal (2016) did so well, and people can relate to it.”

However, Saif feels that Bollywood is trying to make better films, and that even sticking to a formula isn’t bad, because “formulas never need to go if they are working”. He elaborates, “We’re making better films. We’re trying, but I think there’s a lot to do to get to that stage. Everyone likes to blame the writer when a film doesn’t do well. That’s why you see writers go and settle abroad. There’s a sort of brain drain happening in the country. I’d prefer that more people stay in the country and write amazing scripts. I personally believe that people’s real-life stories are far more interesting than something else. That’s why biopics are working. After all, fact is stranger than fiction, right?”

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First Published: Dec 19, 2017 14:06 IST