Tamasha reunites the dream team of Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Imtiaz Ali for the very first time. With anticipations running high, all eyes are on director Imtiaz Ali to deliver a blockbuster at the box office with Ranbir Kapoor again post Rockstar. In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express.com, Imtiaz discusses box-office success, censor board and Ranbir- Deepika chemistry.
Ques: Let’s begin with the most talked aspect of the film, the Ranbir-Deepika pairing? As a director, why do you think they click well as a pair?
Imtiaz: I would feel happy to watch Rishi Kapoor- Neetu Singh films. With Ranbir and Deepika, they are very addicted to the true joy of acting. Lots of people are in the industry for different reasons. These two are in it for their passion and the joy they experience when they are acting. You can only do your best if the actor in front of you is supportive and loves and respects you to really let you fly. They get that from each other which is why I feel that they are better with each other than they can be with other actors.
Ques: How and when did Tamasha happen?
Imtiaz: This is perhaps the oldest idea I have had. It was even older than Highway. I never felt it will become a movie at some stage. It was a very personal thought. The thought was people are acting as someone else in their real lives. Their true self is not what they project. As a kid, I used to feel that about myself too. If I were to be in the wild and not in the society, I would be a different person. The circumstances around you affect your personality and you are constantly adapting to fit into the society that you are in. You are trying to behave in the correct manner and being what is suitable to a particular society. In so doing, you become someone else and your life becomes fake.
Ques: When did this idea translate in to a film?
Imtiaz: This idea was there in my mind and images about myself and other people and how they would behave if they are in some other place. That was the thought. It was only after Rockstar that I thought this would become a movie as stories started coming in about this particular thing and it stretched and became a film.
Ques: Did you have Ranbir in mind while writing the story?
Imtiaz: I never write scripts keeping in mind actors. Ranbir and I used to meet often and I once bounced off this idea. At that time we were just talking and I didn’t even think that he would act in it. At some point later, I asked him if he would act in it and he agreed.
Ques: How different was directing Ranbir this time as compared to Rockstar?
Imtiaz: Interestingly, I had no memory of Rockstar while making this film and I am glad I did Highway in between and wiped my slate clean. Even with Ranbir, he never reminded me of anything that he had done in Rockstar. It was like working with a new actor.
Ques: What do you make of his recent dip in success at the box-office. Where do you think he has gone wrong?
Imtiaz: See it’s about the choices that you make. And as an actor, there are many other things that guide your work. Who the director is and what the story of the film is. As an actor he has always done his work honestly. Look at bigger stars. They had their ups and downs and Ranbir too is having his share of the same. Not everything is in the control of the actor. If a movie doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You feel bad but you move on and hope that the next one will work.
Ques: How concerned are you about box-office numbers?
Imtiaz: Totally concerned. I am concerned about the commercial success to the extent that people who invest in the movie, don’t get cheated in the process. I want to make sure that the money comes back. Any business where the cost is more than the earning will not survive. Other thing I am concerned about is the value of 200 rupees that someone spends to be watch this film. I would want him to feel that the movie was a Fayde Ka Sauda.
Ques: What troubles have you faced from the censor board?
Imtiaz: I haven’t really faced any problems. They were not too severe.
Ques: But Ranbir feel the censors have grown radical?
Imtiaz: Even I have heard that they have grown radical but they were okay with me. There are a few ‘saalas’ in this film and they have not objected to it. I feel they see the intention of what you are saying.
Ques: What has been snipped out then?
Imtiaz: There are some words that have been muted. I won’t say the exact word that has been muted but it is in the context where a man is abusing a woman. In my experience, the Censor Board is very strict in such scenes because they feel it infringes on a woman’s modesty. For a man, it is not such a big deal if he is called a saala. call u saala. But if I call a girl saali, it is a different thing. So, censor board is sensitive to that.
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Ques:So the love-making scene has been left untouched?
Imtiaz: (Laughs) So much has been made about this love making scene. It was never supposed to be so big or important and now its gathered too much moss. I hope people are not too disappointed after seeing it. They shouldn’t say, Oh this is it! It is just a kissing scene in reality.
Tamasha starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone is going to release on November 27.