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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Kunal delighted with Fanaa's success

In spite of all the pointless controversies over Aamir's support of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the catastrophic prophecies by layman and trade-magazine alike about the film, Fanaa has been declared a blockbuster. Diganta Guha caught up with its director Kunal Kohli, a week after the release of Yash Raj's Films' "second biggest grosser". Check out the Fanaa special

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 20:22 IST
Diganta Guha
Diganta Guha

Fanaa  has been declared a blockbuster. HT City caught up with its young director, Kunal Kohli, seven days after the film’s release.

Fanaa  hasreceived rave reviews and got its due at the box office. Has the film done as per expectations?
It has gone beyond expectations. The first week’s collections have been phenomenal. In fact, it has earned around Rs 32 crore in its first week, something which has never happened before. The growth has been steady and it’s doing well all over the country. It is satisfying to note that one’s effort has paid off. Fanaa  is Yash Raj Films’ biggest hit after Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge.

What do you think has worked in Fanaa’s  favour?
Three things: The fact that it’s a completely original Hindustani film with no designer clothes or English dialogues and the performances of Kajol and Aamir.

Wasn’t it frustrating for you to have to talk about other issues before the release of the film when you should have been talking about the film?
It was frustrating for Aditya Chopra, Yashji (Yash Chopra) and me. The Gujarat issue, the multiplex problem. We didn’t want to get dragged into politics. And then there were the initial reports that the industry didn’t like the film. It was only when we heard that the audience had accepted it that the smiles are back on our faces.

Hum Tum and Fanaa  have been very different films. Which did you enjoy directing more?
That’s a difficult one to answer. Every film is different and the pressures are diverse. If Hum Tum, hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t have had the big-budget Fanaa in my hands. I would probably have left filmmaking. And first-time success is always special.

Some of the action scenes in Fanaa  — especially in the snow — look like they were difficult. Weill you tell us about them?
We were shooting in Poland and the average temperature was –11°C. The schedule was also continuous and so there weren’t too many breaks. The entire unit was exhausted.

Fanaa was hailed as Kajol’s comeback film. And expectations were high. Were you worried?
That was just one of the reasons for the film’s hype. Aamir Khan and Kajol were paired for the first time and I was back after Hum Tum. But I was relaxed and took one shot at a time. After all, you have to just do your work... Expectations are in people's minds. You can't preempt that.

Expectations now are higher than ever…
Yes, they are. But it was also there while I was making Fanaa after the success of Hum Tum. I haven’t changed as a person. I try to make films in such a way that I am given a chance to make another one later. I don’t go to Page 3 parties. I don’t make films for money. Every film boosts my energy to make another.

What next?
I have no idea. I don’t have a story now. I am opening my own banner, but that is an agreement with Yash Raj. It is just an extension of my relationship with them, from producer-director to partners.

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 20:22 IST

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