Published On: Wed, Jun 22nd, 2016

Bollywood needs quality films



Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the eminent Bollywood filmmaker, is the view that Bollywood requires concentrating on making good films to deal with competition from quality flicks from Hollywood.

Recently the Indian box office has witnessed the success of some Hollywood films like The Jungle BookCaptain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse better than Hindi movies released on a similar day.

It was inquired from Mehra to state about the triumph of Hollywood movies in India and he commented, “They must be better films. We need to make better films. It’s laissez-faire. It’s an open market system.”

The Rang De Basanti director added that the mere way to guard Hindi cinema is to make quality flicks. “We have to make quality movies. And why should we do business here [in India only]? We should go out [to India] and do more business and tell Indian stories to the world.”

Mehra is well known for directing movies like Delhi-6 and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and set forward to the release of his subsequent venture Mirzya.

He continued by saying that “I saw the play [Mirza Sahiban] during college around 30 years ago and its story stayed with me. It’s a unique story. Sahiban is a very strong protagonist, and that attracted me a lot to the folklore. This is a unique one. It’s a tragedy. It’s closest to a musical. So you can call it a Shakespearean musical tragedy, written by Gulzar. His writing is extremely layered. So to understand his writing, you need to go deep within and to reinterpret it and make his work yours. Mirzya is a contemporary story altogether,”

Previously, Mehra has typically directed famous actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Farhan Akhtar in his movies. However for Mirzya, he selected newcomers Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher.

While answering about it Mehra told that “It was the requirement of the story that I get newcomers. I wanted a fresh feel to it as it’s a fresh take on love. I wanted the audience to experience the freshness. I had to be true to my story. If the movie works, then the [issue of big] budget is solved. If the story will not work, nothing will work. You can take the biggest star and still it [a film] will not work.”

The movie is made on a budget of approximately INR350 million. Mirzya has been widely shot in 83 days around a variety of places in Rajasthan for example Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Mandawa as well as in Ladakh. The movie is at present in post-production.

Mehra has a leaning for narratives based on real occasions except fiction. He commented that “For me, it is the same thing. Technically they might be different, but as a storyteller, I must have something to say from my point of view. When I made Rang De Basanti, I took Bhagat Singh, Azad, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. But I reinterpreted their spirits in today’s times,”

He quoted the instance of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag which was the tale of athlete Milkha Singh, he said, “With Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, I reinterpreted the story of Milkha Singh not as a biopic or an athlete but as a kid who had lost his parents during partition. So it was a story of lost childhood, hatred, and forgiveness. Similarly in Mirzya, I have shared what I feel about love,” The movie is going to release on 7 October.


About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.