It’s been a busy day for Rohit Shetty. While the entire star cast of Golmaal Again was meeting the press, the filmmaker had a meeting with the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board), after which he joined the cast for interviews. The hectic promotions haven’t affected his spirit as he sits for a chat with the media.
It’s been seven years since the last Golmaal released so is he nervous as the audience have great expectations from the film? “There’s no pressure as such. More than feeling the pressure we had to work hard because we have to live up the expectations of the audience. Also, we didn’t want to feel the pressure during the release of the film so we preferred putting in efforts. We have given 100 per cent to the project, now it’s up to the audience if they like the film or not,” says Rohit.
The film stars Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Kunal Khemu, Arshad Warsi, Shreyas Talpade, Parineeti Chopra, Tushar Kapoor, Johnny Lever and others. It releases on October 20, and is fourth installment of the Golmaal series.
The Dilwale-filmmaker says that the reason it took them seven years to come out with the sequel is because they wanted a story which could live up to the expectations of the audience.
“The question always was, ‘what new can we give it the audience?’ It took three years to develop the story. For years we haven’t seen a horror comedy specially with a big star cast. That’s the reason we have got such a positive response for the trailer. If it was just a comedy the response would have been ‘okay’. We could expand the entertainment factor because of the horror aspect,” says the filmmaker.
The surprise element of the film is Tabu, who is known for her intense and serious roles on screen. Explaining Tabu’s presence, he says, “Tabu and I go a long way. She has been telling me for a long time that she wanted to do a commercial film. While writing the script, this one character not only emerged beautifully but in a dignified way. Finally I realised that I could approach her with the script. It was important for both of us to be satisfied with the project. There is no denying that Tabu is a great actor and she comes with a lot of responsibilities.” He is confident that when the audience watch the film, it won’t leave them questioning her presence. “In a way, she is the anchor of the story,” he says.
His films are always larger-than-life. “I love watching grand films. I like making such films because mine are family entertainers and a family is spending Rs 600 each to watch my film. I should be able to give them everything through my film. There are very few films which are big screen entertainments ,so I try making those films which everyone will enjoy,” he responds.
The filmmaker maintains that the reason why there is no nudity or slang in his films is because he keeps the family audience in mind. “When Golmaal released, a lot of family audience specially women and children came to watch the film. That’s how I got the tag of making family entertainers. Even when my films are screened on television, the entire family watches them together. So I am conscious about this. There is nothing wrong with people making different kinds of films but because I am catering to a certain kind of audience, I have to keep them in mind,” he says, adding that it is his duty to see that his films are clean and he doesn’t feel the need for nudity in his films. “I personally don’t like it.”
He has successfully made serious films like Singham and Singham Returns in the past which Rohit says is possible because entertainment is a different ball-game and it evokes different emotions. “While Golmaal evokes laughter; Singham is about valour but each one boils down to entertainment. These are wholesome entertainers.”
When the topic moves towards independent and small-budgeted films like Newton achieving great success at the box-office, Rohit says that such films always existed. “Now they are getting more audience because the population has increased and so has the number of theatres. There is more awareness now. Films like Newton and Golmaal are being made since the 50s. We sometimes call them art house, multiplex or content-driven. Having said that, at the end of the day a film is a film. Any film, which the audience likes, is a good film.”
But is the gap between commercial entertainers and content driven films dissolving? “It was always thin. When Amar Akbar Anthony was being made, Chitchor and Rajnigandha, were also being made. When Naseeb was being shot, Ardh Satya was also being shot. That’s why the young directors should read history of cinema, they will no more be scared. They will stop thinking, ‘Now this will work or this won’t work’,” he signs off.