Tere Bin Laden’s Abhishek Sharma wants to wait for theatres to open for Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari release
Filmmaker Abhishek Sharma talks about his decade long career in Bollywood, the struggles involved, the lockdown and his upcoming film Suraj Par Mangal Bhari.Updated: Jul 17, 2020, 20:08 IST
Filmmaker Abhishek Sharma, who completed a decade in Bollywood on Thursday with his maiden film Tere Bin Laden turning 10, has said that he would like his next, Suraj Par Mangal Bhari to release in theatres, instead of a digital-only release. In a candid conversation with Hindustan Times, Abhishek also shared that the only thing he has missed during the lockdown is watching movies in theatres. Suraj Par Mangal Bhari will see Manoj Bajpyee team up with Diljit Dosanjh and Fatima Sana Shaikh.
How have you braved through the lockdown?
Luckily, I have been able to spend all the time working, thanks to technology. I do not miss the social contact much because I am not that social. However, I do miss going to theatres and watching movies. I think that is the only thing I missed. I know people have been battling with various problems and issues but I was blessed to have kept myself busy with work.
What were you busy with?
I did production, post-production work. Suraj Par Mangal Bhari is in post-production, I worked on it during this time and also wrote a bit.
What is Sooraj Par Mangal Bhari about?
Suraj Pe Mangal is a comedy set in the 90s - I call that the era of innocence. Wedding matches in those days involved a background check and there was no social media - you did not have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where you could stalk a prospective groom or bride. You had to physically follow the person. So Manoj is essaying the character of Mangal - a guy who carries out such background checks. Diljit aka Suraj is the groom being targeted here and the Tom and Jerry kind of situation that ensues will make people enjoy watching it.
How has your experience of working with big names and artists like Manoj Bajpayee and John Abraham been?
It has been great working with stars like John, Manoj, and Diljit. John has been my actor, producer, and friend. He supported my vision in Parmanu like a rock. Manoj sir is an institution in himself and I learned a lot working with him. And Diljit is one of the most spontaneous actors who brings in charm and innocence to his characters with ease. Their best part is that they are all professionals without any aura of the stardom that is attached to them. I think I learned so much just by working with them and being on sets.
When should we expect to watch the film, and where?
I love watching movies in theatres and would love for my audience to watch the film and enjoy it in theatres. I really hope theatres open in a month or two. We are all trying our best because theatres are suffering a lot in this closure of business that has continued for them despite the lockdown ending in May. I just hope theatres open soon, for the sake of theatre owners as well movie lovers like myself. So, I would want to wait for theatrical release, but you never know.
Tere Bin Laden just completed 10 glorious years. Did you expect the film to have such a lasting impact?
There is no celebration as such (for completing a decade in Bollywood). But it feels great that people are still talking about it and the film is still relevant. I do not think I receive as many calls on my birthday as I did for my “Bollywood birthday”.
The film’s subject continues to be relevant - the world politics remains the same. I mean, Osama (Bin Laden) is no longer relevant but the biases and dynamics remain, only the players have changed.
It was rare for a film with no stars, to actually fare well on the box office, back then.
Yes, I think I got lucky. In fact, I am thankful to fans that two of my films - John Abraham’s Parmanu and Ali Zafar’s Tere Bin Laden are still being discussed and people remember the films. I did not face any trouble making Tere Bin Laden but finding distributors was tough.
Do you remember any incident from the sets that you guys still discuss?
The entire shoot was so much fun, because I think we were all so young and had no baggage. We had just one steady camera for the film and during one chase sequence (involving Pradhyumn who plays Osama’s look-alike), the camera fell down. Now, instead of bothering about the camera, or the guy, all I said was ‘did we get that shot?’. Of course, everyone was laughing at me by the time I realised how engrossed I was in the film. The camera people were staring at me, they took away the camera after that shot.
We often discuss this incident and everyone laughs at my expense. But I think, it wasn’t that I wasn’t concerned about anything else, but I guess somewhere I knew I won;t be able to shoot and can that sequence again.
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