My films won’t breathe right if there is any kind of im­pu­rity in it, says film­maker Aanand L Rai

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - FRONT PAGE - AANAND L RAI Prashant Singh ■ prashant.singh@htlive.com

Turn back the clock and you will find that be­sides their box-of­fice ex­ploits, one thing that runs com­mon in film­maker Aanand L Rai’s films and makes them en­dear­ing is their sim­ple, non­fussy com­plex­ion. Does it come nat­u­rally or is there a trick?

“Hon­estly, there is no trick in that. In fact, it’s a need [for my film’s worlds]. The ba­sic re­quire­ment for the kind of films and sto­ries I deal with is to be pure with it. My films will not breathe right if there is any kind of im­pu­rity in it; they need to have the right heart­beat,” says Raan­jhanaa (2013) di­rec­tor.

In fact, Rai is clear that he can “sac­ri­fice any­thing but the pu­rity in and around me”. He adds: “I have no other choice but to be as pure as I can be. I just can’t let it go. That’s why I give my all to keep my films non-fussy. If I am rest­less, it will start re­flect­ing in the film.”

Last year, the maker of Tanu Weds Manu (2011) and Tanu Weds Manu Re­turns (2015) com­pleted a decade in the in­dus­try. Next month, he is set to kick off a new chap­ter of his ca­reer with the Shah Rukh Khan-star­rer Zero.

“It has been a great jour­ney. Be it suc­cess or fail­ure, you meet and greet ev­ery­thing on the way. What re­ally mat­ters is: ‘Have you learnt from it? Were you aware when those things were hap­pen­ing around you?’ That is what is called ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Rai, adding that he is “very for­tu­nate that every film has been like a chap­ter.” He says: “That’s why when I move on to a new film, I am armed with all the learn­ings and ex­pe­ri­ences – as a di­rec­tor and as a per­son as well – from the pre­vi­ous chap­ter. That’s very im­por­tant as no one can snatch that ex­pe­ri­ence from me. That growth teaches you. Also, be­ing a good stu­dent my whole life, I am a good learner. I hope this is an­other chap­ter where I will score more.”

Al­though his films carry loads of ex­pec­ta­tions, Rai re­fuses to get into the ‘brand game’. “I only know that we have to work re­ally hard to reach our au­di­ence in the right way. Also, we have a big­ger re­spon­si­bil­ity now. What peo­ple ex­pect from us is a good story. Peo­ple call it brand, while I call it re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he says.

What peo­ple ex­pect from us is a good story. Peo­ple call it brand, while I call it re­spon­si­bil­ity.

FILM­MAKER

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