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