‘We need to pay more to the writers’

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 18 August 2017

Critics and industry insiders also claim that Mubarakan has gained from the failure of Jab Harry... Ask Anees about it and he replies, “Some films work, some don’t. I believe that we have got the love and prayers of the audience because of which our film is still running. I visited a few theatres and a few members of the audience came up to me, saying, ‘Thank You for making the film. After a long time, we have watched a film with our family. Laughed and had fun together’.” 

Filmmaker Anees Bazmee credits the success of Mubarakan to the love and prayers that it received from the audience.

Despite the release of two big-budgeted and starry films — Jab Harry Met Sejal and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha — after it, Anees Bazmee’s Mubarakan is going strong at the box-office. By August 16, the film had collected more than Rs 50 crore since its release. However, industry insiders say that the producers haven’t been able to fully recover the cost. Mubarakan was made on a budget of Rs 70 crore.  

Critics and industry insiders also claim that Mubarakan has gained from the failure of Jab Harry... Ask Anees about it and he replies, “Some films work, some don’t. I believe that we have got the love and prayers of the audience because of which our film is still running. I visited a few theatres and a few members of the audience came up to me, saying, ‘Thank You for making the film. After a long time, we have watched a film with our family. Laughed and had fun together’.” 

“We have made the film in a controlled budget and my producers have supported it. The film has earned 20 paisa less but it’s gained the goodwill of the audience. Mubarakan is a kind of film that will remain with the audience for a long time,” he added. 

When asked if it will be wise for producers to focus on tight budgets, in view of the big budget films failing to make an impact at the box office, Anees said, “There are two kinds of budgets involved in a film. First is spent on what we see on screen and the second has to do with off-screen work. I believe producers shouldn’t compromise on the budget spent on what we see on screen. It’s important that we make films in a controlled budget.” 

Mubarakan starring Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pavan Malhotra, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty, was also appreciated for its clean comedy. To this, Anees replies, “This goes on to prove that for a comedy film to work, it doesn’t need double meaning or sexist jokes. Comedy is something you are supposed to enjoy with everyone and not alone. Watching comedy films in India, is like a function, because the entire family comes together to view it.” He adds, “I cannot write or direct a movie which has dirty and double meaning dialogues, because I like to watch films with my family. It’s not my style.”

The filmmaker known for films like Hulchul, Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, Welcome, Welcome Back, Singh is Kinng, believes that for any kind of film to work, the script has to be strong. “At the end of the day, you need a strong script, screenplay and story. Even when you approach a top actor, their first question is, ‘What’s the story’?, he says, adding, “We need to pay more to the writers, which doesn’t happen in the industry. I am a writer myself so I have great respect for writers. Every other person involved with a film has a fair idea of what he or she needs to do. It’s only the writer, who isn’t aware about anything else, because he is writing the story. His mind is a blank paper. Writing is a difficult, but an important job,” he says. 

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