Filmmaker R S Prasanna talks about the changing taste of Indian audiences
Though the script of Shubh Mangal Savdhaan is original, the concept and feel remains the same as the Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, says filmmaker R S Prasanna while promoting the film. “When you adapt a story in a different language, you have to make changes depending on the culture of the region. Ninety per cent of the story is changed,” says the director. Produced by Eros International and Colour Yellow Productions, the Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar starrer is releasing on September 1.
The film was announced in 2014 by Aanand L Rai, who is co-producer of the film. So why did it take four years to release? “I spend a long time in finding the correct writer and a team. I wanted a writer who is as rooted as me. It took Hitesh Kewalya (writer) and me eights months to rework on the script,” he says.
The filmmaker, who considers himself blessed to be able to work with Aanand L Rai, says, “I am not a spiritual person. I always tell people if your work is good, success will follow. I dreamt of making just one movie and after my Tamil film released, I was so happy. The quest of my life was completed. I have very high expectations from my work and I had never thought that others will be interested in producing my films. When Aanand approached me to make the Hindi film, I knew he was the right producer. I believe cinema is a marriage of so many people. And just like a marriage, where you need to find the right person who will love and admire you, you have to find the right people to make your movie with,” he says, adding that Aanand gave him a lot of freedom while making the film.
Though Shubh Mangal Savdhaan deals with a sensitive subject like erectile dysfunction, which is a fresh concept for Bollywood, Prasanna maintains that his leading actors decided to do the film soon after listening to the script. “Both Ayushmann and Bhumi have put their heart and conviction into the film. When they heard the script, they were convinced of signing it. I think they are the kind of actors who are hungry for content-driven and realistic cinema, which is entertaining.”
Regional cinema has always been showcasing social issues but Bollywood seems to have started doing it consciously only in the last few years with subjects like Swachha Bharat Abhiyan, sperm donation, and so on. “I knew the audience will be receptive towards such subjects. Vicky Donor received such a great response in 2012. Times are changing and so is the definition of mainstream cinema. Audiences want to see unique subjects and no one is afraid to talk about it either. They need a talking point to discuss on social media,” he says. Adding further, “The audiences who determine the box-office are mostly in the age group of 20-35 years. They are aware about cinema and have access to the internet. The audience either enjoys a simple and realistic film or something like Baahubali,” he signs off.