Ra­jku­mar Hi­rani says new age dawn­ing for In­dian film in­dus­try

Daily Messenger - - International -

MUM­BAI: Bol­ly­wood box of­fice king Ra­jku­mar Hi­rani be­lieves a new golden age is dawn­ing for the In­dian movie in­dus­try as film­mak­ers look out­side the box to tell more var­ied sto­ries.

"Be­fore there was a be­lief that you had to have songs," said Hi­rani, the man be­hind a string of Bol­ly­wood hits in­clud­ing the global sen­sa­tion "3 Id­iots".

"Now peo­ple are com­pletely ex­per­i­ment­ing with the sub­ject mat­ter."

Even those direc­tors who con­tinue to in­clude songs are also ex­plor­ing "much darker themes" and still en­joy­ing mas­sive box of­fice suc­cess, he said.

Acase in point is 55-yearold Hi­rani´s lat­est of­fer­ing, "Sanju", which the direc­tor has brought to this year´s

23rd Bu­san In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in South Korea, the largest of its kind in Asia.

"Sanju" is based on the real-life story of the rise and fall of San­jay Dutt, who was born into Bol­ly­wood roy­alty but was jailed af­ter be­ing ac­cused of in­volve­ment in the Mum­bai ter­ror at­tacks of

1993.

The direc­tor ad­mits the project was a risk given the of­ten grim na­ture of the story, which in­cludes gritty scenes of drug tak­ing and its lead char­ac­ter´s de­scent into de­pres­sion.

But the strong box of­fice re­turns have con­vinced him that au­di­ences want a wider range of op­tions from Hindi lan­guage films.

Sanju" has so far grossed $80 mil­lion, plac­ing it third on Bol­ly­wood´s all-time global earn­ers´ list, ac­cord­ing to The Times of In­dia news­pa­per.

"It´s very much a hu­man in­ter­est story about bat­tling your de­mons," said Hi­rani. "It´s a very dif­fer­ent kind of film than I have done be­fore.

"While I was mak­ing it ev­ery­body thought it was a mis­take."

But Hi­rani said he was more con­fi­dent the film might suc­ceed af­ter see­ing the re­ac­tion ofDutt, whowas re­leased from jail in 2016, at a pre­view screen­ing.

He saw it three days be­fore its re­lease and I was watch­ing him," said Hi­rani. "He was cry­ing and af­ter that he sat at home and drank for three days, so I knew it had worked."

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