Coming from a political family, Riteish Deshmukh always knew it was important to accept the defeat and bounce back, which he says is an ideology he has tried to implement in his film career.
The actor, who has had fair share of success and failure in his 16-year-long career in movies, said he believes if the audience is not on the same page as the makers the film will not perform well.
“I have seen ups and downs politically, where you have to accept the defeat with dignity and move on and come back again, similarly, in films one has to accept that you and audience were not on the same page,” Riteish told PTI in an interview.
The actor had three releases — Total Dhamaal, Housefull 4 and Marjaavaan — this year and he hopes to continue doing good work.
“This year has been wonderful, so far so good. It is important to understand that before these three successes there have been three to five flops. Before those five flops, I had given a few successes.
“It is a phase where you sometimes give successful films and sometimes films don’t work. It is important that you keep doing good work and hope that the choices that you make end up being the right one.”
Calling failures a learning curve, Riteish, 40, said he is proud of all the choices he has made in his career.
“…Like, they say, success is a lousy teacher, it absolutely is, because success doesn’t teach you anything. There are scars that are meant to be proud of. I have never blamed any of my films. In 16 years, I have never detached myself from a film that has been unsuccessful. Those were my choices, no one had put a gun on my head to make those choices.”
The actor believes critical appreciation is something he always aspire, but it is also important to take the box office numbers in consideration.
“We are here to serve people. So let people decide what content they like and they don’t like. A content with critical appreciation as well box office is an ideal combination that one can wish for.
“There are two other combinations, one where it works with the critics and doesn’t work at the box office and other it doesn’t work with the critics but works at the box office. I would choose the latter. Keeping in mind, if given a choice, critical appreciation is something one always looks for but one shouldn’t undermine box office.”
Citing an example of his last three releases, Riteish said, that even though the reviews were brutal, they were successful commercially.
“When a person is paying money for a ticket, he has every right to criticise you. And fair enough. However, brutal they are you can choose to ignore and move on.
“Anyone who has a particular point, like some don’t like it, or someone hated it, there is a stronger reaction, like what were you thinking? Some people abuse, etc. That’s ok. Every kind of reaction is ok.”
Gifted with a spontaneous sense of humour, some of Riteish’s notable performances were in light-hearted films like Masti, Bluffmaster!, Malamaal Weekly, Dhamaal and “Housefull” franchise. But films like Ek Villain, Lai Bhari and his latest Marjaavaan, gave him an opportunity to explore the other side of his personality.
“The films that came my way be it Ek Villian or Lai Bhari or Marjaavaan were something different from the comedies that I have done. These films have helped change the perception of an actor, who does comedies and that there is more to him than just comedy films.
“The fact that these films have worked well at the box office play a huge role in perception building. As a producer, the choices that I made of producing Marathi films, that has also helped somewhere. People take me a bit seriously than they used to.”
The aim, Riteish said, is to do films where there is a marriage between content and commerce, as both are equally important.
“I am in a zone where I go out there to do what I love, that is act and produce content that appeals to me. When it comes to producing, I get attracted to newer ideas.
“I look at stories where content can meet commerce. There are fascinating ideas and stories and it might excite some people but it is important the numbers start coming in. Commerce is as extremely important as content.”
Riteish’s next film is Tiger Shroff-fronted Baaghi 3. He is also working on his ambitious Marathi film on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.