Crit­ics Do Not Mat­ter Much Be­cause They Sit With A Mi­cro­scope And Watch The Movie For Free…

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY -

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.”

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