Seriously Funny

Filmmaker Priyadarshan talks about his fascination with comedy

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published: August 29, 2012 2:54:27 am

Filmmaker Priyadarshan talks about his fascination with comedy

HIS heroes are Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Mouse. When he is not on the sets,filmmaker Priyadarshan is at home,catching up with his favourite toon shows,starting with Tom & Jerry. “I have a big collection of cartoons,” says the filmmaker over phone from Mumbai. “I look serious,but I am a very funny man,” he adds

He has entertained audiences with high doses of humour through films such as Hera Pheri,Phir Hera Pheri,Malamaal Weekly,Bhool Bhulaiya,Bhagam Bhaag,Hulchul,Garam Masala and Khatta Meetha. A National Award and Padma Shri-winning filmmaker,Priyadarshan remains grounded.

“I have made enough flops,I still don’t know how to make a successful film,” says the director,who is looking forward to his film,Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal (KDM) that releases on September 28.

Contrary to its name,KDM (Percept Pictures) is not a sequel to Malamaal Weekly. It has a similar storyline,but with a twist. “KDM is about a stranger walking into a town and creating havoc. No one knows his agenda till the end,” says Priyadarshan. The stranger is Nana Patekar,an actor who Priyadarshan has been wanting to work with for a long time. “But Nana being Nana,it was extremely difficult to get him on board. I have been planning a film with him for the last 10 years and he is very choosy. He’d rather sit at home than work. But when I shared KDM’s story,he finally agreed and here we are,” he says.

It’s been 32 years since Priyadarshan started making films. From Kalapaani,Kanchivaram,Gardish and Virasat to Chandralekha,Chup Chup Ke,Aakrosh,De Dana Dan and Dhol,the director says the southern film industry gave him awards but Mumbai made him a household name. “I shifted to Mumbai 10 years ago to make money,” he says with a laugh.

Industry insiders say that it’s a “picnic” working on Priyadarshan’s sets and,in this case,the film shoot turned into “one big party” with Nana around. “He would insist on cooking everyday for everyone”,shares the filmmaker,who lets his crew and cast enjoy the shoot in their own way. “Too many rules and injunctions can kill the motivation and drive. I am strict and in control,but I make sure my team is having fun too,” he says.

Starring Patekar,Paresh Rawal,Om Puri,Shreyas Talpade,Asrani,Shakti Kapoor and Neeraj Vora,the film has Priyadarshan’s flavour and favourite actors. “Actors such as Paresh and Akshay Kumar are a delight to work with. They are experienced and I share a good chemistry with them. Also,it is good to work with known devils than unknown angels,” he says.

The film also sees Vora and Priyadarshan team up as writer-director after a span of eight years.

After the release of KDM,the director is all set to join hands with cinematographer Santosh Sivan for a film. There is another in the pipeline with Akshay Kumar,and a “serious film” on college,love and life.

“Be it comedies or serious subjects,I like digging deeper,creating more situations,adding more characters to the story,giving them more layers and capturing the details,” concludes the filmmaker.

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