Anil Sharma:Cinema is like cricket; where the audience wants to see firework
Gadar famed director Anil Sharma feels there is a lot of buzz of realistic films but what works on screen are larger than life fantasy films backed with good content
Gadar famed director Anil Sharma feels there is a lot of buzz of realistic films but what works on screen are larger than life fantasy films backed with good content. And, his statement is backed with success of South Indian and Hollywood films.
“We talk a lot about realistic cinema and content but are they working in theatre? The answer is that films that worked include diverse content like Pushpa…, RRR, KGF and Kashmir Files, all from different genres. Those makers who are stuck in 90 and 2000s era don’t have work now! Had I too been such, I would have not got this opportunity to make a sequel two decades after,” says the Tehelka director who was in Lucknow.
Sharma further adds that now cinema is divided in four categories. “One being shorts (2-30 minutes), made usually by beginners with limited means, but they too are garnering appreciation and even winning Oscars. Then we have melodrama-driven content for TV and have its own audience. Whereas on OTT we are going more in realistic zone but theatre sapno ki duniya hai.”
He cites examples. “We need to understand that cinema is all about fantasy. It’s like 20:20 cricket where people want firework (4s and 6s in every over). Think why South films are working with stars that were not known in Hindi belt? Logon ko samajh main aa gaya ki yeh unke matlab ka cinema hai! It’s doing 400-500 crores business because audience is getting what they are deprived of in the last 10-15 from heroes in Mumbai. Now, they are getting to see the cinema on the scale of Hukumat and Elan-e-Jung! Even in Hollywood what works is Avengers and people watch it 10 times.”
Sharma has shot Gadar’s sequel after 22 years in Lucknow and the next part is set in 1970s. “We shot here for 55 days. We even had 5,000 junior artistes and 60-70 dancers at a time. Besides, there are several local artistes playing important roles. I am from UP so it’s my duty to provide more opportunities and my last outing Genius again was shot in my hometown Mathura.”
On the relevance of his sequel over two decades later, he says, “We have worked with the same cast and characters Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), Sakina (Amisha Patel) and Jeete (Utkarsh Sharma). The story too has progressed 22 years ahead. My son (Utkarsh) has grown from a kid to a youngster so it’s a natural progression for everyone. For the new audience it will be a new film and for old timers it’s a sequel.”
Talking about his shooting experience in UP he says, “I shot in rural belt of Rudauli and Malihibad and one will be surprised to know for them even today the superstars are Govinda, Sunny Deol and Mithun Chakraborty. They don’t know much about current heroes!”