When you pick up a new story, it should give you sleep­less nights: Aanand L Rai

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Singh ■ prashant.singh@htlive.com

By now, one thing that has be­come syn­ony­mous with Aanand L Rai is his un­com­pli­cated reel world pep­pered with a va­ri­ety of emo­tions, which re­flects in his per­son­al­ity too. Prob­a­bly, that’s why his films have al­ways tugged at au­di­ences’ heart­strings. But peel off that layer of ‘sim­ple, re­lat­able’ cin­ema, and you will see the film-maker is con­sis­tently break­ing set pat­terns in his di­rec­to­rial ven­tures.

“It’s the fun of film­mak­ing. When you pick up a story, it should give you sleep­less nights. It’s im­por­tant to feel a lit­tle ner­vous. There’s no fun if films don’t do this to you. At the same time, what keeps you mov­ing ahead is the ex­cite­ment of see­ing that [world] on the big screen,” says Rai, who has been push­ing the en­ve­lope with gems like Nil Bat­tey San­nata (2015), New­ton (2017) and now, So­hum Shah’s Tumb­bad.

“You may feel that it’s a new genre for me, but when you see the film, you will re­alise that it is just an ex­ten­sion of me. It is def­i­nitely a scary film, but it scares you about greed. It has hor­ror el­e­ments but I will call it an adult film for fam­ily view­ing; adult be­cause it is scary. To­day, even our au­di­ence is ready to broaden their hori­zon to see a newer world. We are all pre­pared to wel­come newer sto­ries,” he says.

Call­ing Tumb­bad a “very In­dian com­mer­cial film with a global ap­peal”, Rai feels the film “some­where re­de­fines the genre of hor­ror.”

“What makes me very proud of the film is its orig­i­nal­ity. I have a strong feel­ing that this will open up new di­men­sions for hor­ror in In­dia,” he says, adding his “mindspace is jug­gling with too many things th­ese days.” And right at the top is Zero star­ring Shah Rukh Khan, with which he re­turns to di­rec­tion af­ter Tanu Weds Manu Re­turns (2015).

“It is an in­ter­est­ingly tough film so, needed th­ese three­and-a-half years. In fact, I have been very quick. When you watch the film, you may feel I should have taken an­other year. But since I am a very hard­work­ing man, I will de­liver it in time (laughs),” says Rai, who read­ily ad­mits Shah Rukh has “spoilt” him as a film-maker.

“In the process, I also learnt many things. The best thing I have learnt from him is to be there – in the mo­ment. When you work with him, you re­alise why he has con­sis­tently been on top,” he says.

Our au­di­ence is ready to broaden their hori­zon... We are all pre­pared to wel­come newer sto­ries AANAND L RAI FILM­MAKER

Aanand L Rai

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