R Balki feels it is im­pos­si­ble to write a story and then cast Amitabh Bachchan

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTCITY - Kavita Awaasthi kavita.awaasthi@htlive.com

One writes a story for Amitji and never the other way. It is im­pos­si­ble to write a story and then cast Amitabh Bachchan as he is a char­ac­ter by him­self,” says film­maker R Balki, who com­pletes 13 yea in the in­dus­try today, after his de­but di­rec­to­ria Cheeni Kum re­leased in 20

Talk­ing about start­ing his jour­ney in films with the ma­ture and quirky love story, the film­maker says, “I thought of an idea for a film with Amitji since I love his sar­casm. He keeps a poker face while be­ing sar­cas­tic and I wanted that in a char­ac­ter. It was one of the few love sto­ries with­out the words ‘I love you’. It was a fun film and many se­nior cit­i­zens told me that it gave them a lot of hope.”

Hav­ing di­rected films such as Paa (2009), Shamitabh (2015), Ki & Ka (2016) and Pad Man (2018), since his de­but, Balki ad­mits that un­con­ven­tional sub­jects draw him. “There are many sto­ries to be told but when one labours for two years on a film, it has to be dif­fer­ent enough to last that long,” he says.

Weigh­ing in on the de­bate about films re­leas­ing on OTT plat­forms vs in the­atres, he shares that “it is more about get­ting the fi­nal prod­uct out to the au­di­ences”. “There are costs in­volved ev­ery­where. Ev­ery­one needs to adapt to chang­ing times. We need to un­der­stand where ev­ery­one is com­ing from. If the au­di­ences can’t come to the theatre, wha is the bat­tle all about,” he say

Like ev­ery­one else, Balki i also busy do­ing home chores dur­ing the lock­down, and add that time passes quickly when you have chores at home. “You value peo­ple who have helped you all along. And though one has a lot of time, not much of writ­ing is pos­si­ble as one needs to be in the right men­tal space to be cre­ative,” he says.

R Balki

A still from Cheeni Kum

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