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'I want to attract Karan audience'

My Wife's Murder by his protege Jijy Philip was released to mixed reviews. He is rolling out films, with occasional hit and flop. Let?s find out more...

entertainment Updated: Sep 10, 2005 20:02 IST

You have revolutionised Bollywood. Earlier, people had to assist for years before they got a chance to direct.
That’s an old-fashioned concept. I have never assisted anybody nor have I been to an institute. Neither has Shekhar Kapoor or Mani Ratnam. Today, it has become irrelevant. Anybody with a digital video camera can make a film.

What is the idea behind giving chances to newcomers?
To be a director all you need is clarity of vision, the desire to tell a story and passion. I don't look at anything beyond that. Rohit Jugraj, the director of James, is a doctor and he assisted me only in Bhoot. But his sincerity appealed to me and the way he wanted to do James was exciting. A first-time director puts in more time, passion and energy into a film than somebody who has done 20 or 30 films.

Do your plots begin with a character?
For me, it is always an idea. The idea for Satya began when I read a prominent personality had been shot. Somebody who knew him told me that he had a habit of recounting whatever he did. He got up at 7 am, at 7.30, he made some calls, at 8 he had breakfast, and so on. When this gentleman was talking, I was thinking, cinematically, in the intercuts what the killer was doing at the same time. Did the killer wake up early or late? Did he have his breakfast before the killing or after? Then it suddenly struck me: We hear about gangsters only when they die or when they kill. What do they do in between? That, for me, was Satya.

Your films on the underworld are so realistic. Have you interacted with gangsters?
No. I have only read about them in magazines and newspapers.

How do you get them so accurately?
I have an understanding of the psychology of a human being. Bhiku Mhatre, (Satya), if he was an engineer, would be a go-getter. He just happened to be a gangster. He comes home and his wife nags him; it is that which the audience connects with. So when people say Ramu makes such realistic underworld films, how do they know it is realistic? They don't have any contact with the underworld and neither do I. Basically, they are connecting with the characters and because the characters look so real, the audience think the events are real.

Can one predict which movie will become a box office hit?
You can't. If I tell a story to three people at the same time, each of them will have a different reaction. So if I cannot get unanimous reaction from three people, how can I generalise about lakhs of people?

In what way has Hollywood influenced you?
Lots. Alfred Hitchcock movies, McKenna's Gold. I am more interested in Steven Spielberg-type movies than the classics. I haven't see Citizen Kane or the films by Sergei Eisenstein. Even in Bollywood, the influences have been either Manmohan Desai or Ramesh Sippy.

What are your future plans?
I want to try my best to convert audience's taste from the Yash Chopra-Karan Johar type of syrupy films to my kind of realistic movies.

First Published: Sep 10, 2005 20:02 IST