Critics Do Not Matter Much Because They Sit With A Microscope And Watch The Movie For Free…
Debuting as a director with the superhit ShaadiMeinZaroor Aana, RATNAA SINHA, director Anubhav Sinha’s wife, seems to have created quite a buzz . Read on as she engages in a freewheeling chat with Hema Singh about her first film in B-town, her plans as a filmmaker and more…
How did you think of the concept for Shaadi MeinZaroorAaana? Kamal Pandey, the writer of the film, met me to discuss the plot of the film. I liked the basic idea and worked on it for a few months after which, I narrated it to Rajkummar Rao who immediately liked the story of the film, and agreed to do it.
ShaadiMeinZaroorAana has created quite a buzz. Can you tell us something about it and the reactions you’ve garnered for the film? Initially, when the promo was out, it really created a lot of curiosity because it was a clear story of strong love turned to hatred. So the question that came to everyone’s mind after seeing the trailer was – ‘why’? What went wrong between these two people who were so committed to each other. Also, the audience hadn’t seen Rajkummar in such a role before, so that too drew them. This was the first time he was being projected as a quintessential hero with songs and drama. He has done great justice to the character of Sattu. Also, the music of the film picked up immediately as till date, three songs of my film are still a part of the chartbusters.
Who has been your inspiration throughout your journey? It has been my mother and my younger sister who have unflinchingly believed that I am capable of making a good film. In fact, my younger sister has been a very important part in the writing of this film and has been large-hearted enough to not come ahead and ask for credits.
Were Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Kharbanda your first choice? Raj was the first choice. When I had heard the story, I could only visualise Raj in it. Strangely though, there were not many takers initially.
So a big, big thanks to Mr Vinod Bachchan for believing in the story, me and Raj. And once Raj came on board, we started looking for a heroine to play the role of Arti. My film was a small budget one so we were looking for newer faces. We auditioned many girls and I would do all the auditions myself. When Kriti came for an audition, the first take she did was, ‘ok’. The second take was better. And the third take was perfect! I feel Kriti has done a wonderful job in the film. She looks the part and lives the character.
How was it working with Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Kharbanda? Any anecdote or incidents during the shoot that was memorable?
They are great professionals and wonderful, warm people. When you are spending 40-50 days away from home with a limited number of people, then inadvertently they become your family. That’s what happened with us too. It takes a few days to understand someone and sometimes, there is an instant connect. With Rajkummar, there was an instant connect and Kriti is a happy person so together the three of us were three people who loved the film and each other. So that I think translates on the screen too. Anecdotes were many.
What are your future plans?
I am currently planning to start directing two films. One should be going on the floors this May. The casting process is on and we will announce about the same once the cast is ready.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
I think life is about balancing all the spheres perfectly. Extremes always bring stress and balance brings peace. Even while I am outdoors, I make sure that I call my son at least twice a day. I make it a point to spend my free time with family and friends. But most importantly, I am extremely grateful to God that I love the work I do. Whether it is writing, shooting, making songs or editing, I enjoy each and every element so there is never really a moment at work that gives me stress.
Your husband Anubhav Sinha has directed many films. Did you ever go to him for help or guidance?
My husband is a support. I guess I take him for granted (Laughs). Yes, we do share scripts and discuss filmmaking with each other. He has a great sense of music so the first person I sent my songs to was him. In fact, Tu banja gali Benaras ki (from the film) is a song that he composed.
So how was your journey up till now?
Every day is a learning and a blessing. Honestly, I don’t look back or ahead. I like to live in the present. So there are neither regrets and nor great ambitions. Just a desire to make good films that touch people’s hearts and stay with them.
What according to you was the best and worst part of your journey?
Definitely, being able to direct a film. And I am sure there is more to come (Laughs). And like I said, there are no regrets, so whatever good or bad has led up to this point must have been essential to reach the point I am at. And I can only hope that the worst is over.
Who is the director you admire the most?
When I had heard the story, I could only visualise Raj in it.”
It has to be Steven Spielberg for sure. The range of films that he has made shows us that he is willing to experiment. And he has been able to do all kinds of films successfully and promote other great directors as well. In our country, I admire Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukerjee, Rajkumar Santoshi and Rajkumar
Hirani for the content they have created. Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh sir for being able to depict the most beautiful stories so simplistically and Raj ji for the kind of variety that he has chosen to make ( Andaz Apna Apna is my favourite film) and finally, Raju for being relevant and funny and not didactic which is a great achievement.
What is your biggest strength and weakness? I think my strength is being secure in who I am. And I feel my weakness is that I am quite anti-social.
What according to you, luck or hard work, has made you successful? It always has to be a combination of both. I was lucky to get Rajkummar and Vinod Bachchan and I really worked hard to make a good film.
How much does reviews by critics or the audience matter to you? Honestly, critics do not matter so much because they sit with a microscope and watch the movie for free (Laughs). But the audience matter a lot. They come without any biases, but they want their money’s worth. You either give it to them or you don’t. They can either praise you or rip you apart, and you have to take it.
What type of research did you do for that movie? We met many IAS officers and ran them through the story. How they conduct raids, how they live and behave, as there is immense power in their jobs. For understanding the language and other cultural aspects, we had lived in Kanpur for few weeks so that we could observe the people and the ambience.
If you were to make a high budget film, what will the dream cast be like? The cast would totally depend on the script. I would love to work with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt as they are both great actors.
What is your favorite genre when it comes to direct movie? A hard-core comedy.
Where do you see yourself five years down the line? I see myself as one of the most respected directors of our country.
Raj and Kriti are professionals and wonderful, warm people.”