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Baadshaho director Milan Luthria: It’s never the actor who fails, it is the film which falters

As we asked Baadshaho director Milan Luthria if he considers the box office numbers an important factor in determining the success of a film, the director told that filmmaking is an expensive business and thus numbers are very important for a filmmaker.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi | September 7, 2017 5:12:26 pm
baadshaho, baadshaho collection, baadshaho box office success, milan luthria, milan luthria images Milan Luthria feels box office numbers are important to determine the success of a movie.

Milan Luthria directorial Baadshaho has crossed the lifetime collection of his other hit Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai within six days of its release. The film with the ensemble cast of Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Ileana D’Cruz, Vidyut Jammwal and Sanjai Mishra is having a smooth run in the theaters and has minted Rs 60.54 crore. If the collection continues to be as steady as it was in the first week of its release, it is expected to enter the coveted 100 crore club soon. And in the words of the director of the film, these numbers are very important as filmmaking is an expensive business.

As we asked Milan if he considers the box office numbers an important factor in determining the success of a film, the director told, “I think I was misquoted when someone wrote I am not interested in numbers. I do look at the numbers. The point I was trying to make is that a filmmaker has to divide his attention. It would be a lie to say that we are not focused on numbers. We are running an expensive business, there is a lot of money and many careers at stake.” Adding to the idea, he says, “But there should be a time when a filmmaker must switch off from numbers. When you are getting a song composed, writing lyrics, designing a costume or filming a scene, at that time you can’t think of numbers. You have to shut that door in your mind and become artistic, work with your actors, get that energy flowing on the sets and if the energy will be good, the numbers will follow.”

Baadshaho released last week with barely any cuts from the censor board. And Milan is of the view that the censor board is not an enemy of filmmakers. Rather it is a part of them. Ask him about his expectation from the new members of the board and he says, “I feel the big change will happen when the two sides of the film industry will sit together and look at where the country is. Look at the exposure and the evolution. Revisit the guidelines which might not be relevant today. Remove the idea of censorship and bring in the idea of film certification. One should have a dialogue no matter even if it takes 10 meetings.”

“But the need of the hour is to understand each other and tell the audience that they have the right to choose. It should be entirely audience’s decision to watch or not watch explicit content as they are the first ones to smell the good content. So, a filmmaker should be free to show what he wants to, provided that the film is rated according to the content. So, this meeting of minds is very important. I feel CBFC is a part of us only and they are here for our good. They are not our enemy,” added Milan.

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However, there is an inclination in Bollywood on making films around Partition and Emergency. What is that which is making filmmakers revisit the subject? “We have realised, when you come close to the reality it gives a certain edge to your work. People like it, they are curious and fascinated towards it. Also, they have an urge to know what happened at that time and this gives the film a push into people’s mind. I think it’s good that we are exploring events of our country’s history and making drama around that,” quipped Milan.

In the recent past, the cine fans have rejected Salman and Shah Rukh Khan starrers and this is the sign of changing dynamics of moviegoers. Does this put a pressure on filmmakers? Milan replied, “It is not about the actors. It is never an actor who fails, it’s the film that falters. The actor moves on and his popularity remains but filmmakers should continue making movies and give the viewers the best of what they can. Filmmaking is anyway a difficult job to do, they should not complicate it by constantly focusing on what went wrong. Viewers will come and watch a film only if the content is good. So, let’s focus on that only.”

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