Veteran screenwriter Javed Akhtar says he feels proud that none of the works of his filmmaker-kids, Zoya and Farhan Akhtar- have reflections of his poetry. Javed, who is co-credited with writing some of the greatest screenplays in Hindi cinema like Zanjeer, Deewar, Trishul and Sholay, says his family has a tradition of not getting influenced by the works of previous generations.
“My family is a family of writers. I am the sixth generation and Zoya and Farhan are the seventh generation of writers. We have a tradition that we don’t get influenced by previous generations. My father’s poetry was totally different from my grandfather’s. My poetry is totally different from my father’s. Generally what happens is that when a father or a parent has been successful in some kind of discipline, the children, at least in the beginning, can echo that.
“I am very proud that whether it’s Farhan’s first film, Dil Chahta Hai, or Zoya’s first or even her other films they don’t have any reflection of my poetry. They are their own voices. They are not my echoes,” the screenwriter said during a session at the recently concluded India Film Project.
Javed also heaped praise on contemporary writers and filmmakers, saying, the kind of stories they tell on screen weren’t imaginable in the 70s or the 80s. “At any time in any era, good work and bad work has been done. Even if an era had bad films, bad performances, all you remember later are good films, good performances and good scripts and you say, ‘Oh! That was the golden era!’ Golden era has never been the present era.
“Today, some exceptionally good films are made. Films like Udaan, Masaan… Talvar, what a film it was. Like Zoya’s films. I really respect them. What kind of writing is this! It is brilliant! It’s dramatic, real, the dialogues are not stagey, not theatrical. It is real but effective.
“The young guns are doing brilliant work, which is unprecedented. There was a film, Shahid. What a film it was! Could you imagine it earlier? Or a film like Article 15. Could you imagine it being made in 70 or 80s? No. So, even today, both extremely good and bad work is happening. But people will forget the bad and only these good movies will be remembered for times to come,” he said.