The ‘Show Man’ of Bollywood, Subhash Ghai, was in town and it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to meet with the man. After all, he is one of India’s favourite entertainers! The first question that comes to mind is how does one actually make it big in the world of glamour? “Talent is the first requirement of course,” he says, as the conversation unfolds over a cup of tea. “However, what becomes even more important is the way the talent is packaged and then eventually projected,” he cautions.
Is that where film institutes come into the picture? Does creativity really need a certificate at the end of day? “Cinema is a very influential medium. Thus, people involved in making it should be highly responsible. You cannot disregard the basic values of life in the name of entertainment. And film schools such as mine (Whistling Woods) strive to create such a responsible film fraternity. Training institutes also play an important role in guiding people on how to showcase their talent in a proper way; they help in molding aspirants to meet the industry standards. To sum it up, these schools work at making your journey to the main station smoother!” he reasons.
Having got an insider’s perspective, we decide to shift gears and ask him about yet another debatable topic: Over the top film promotions. He comments, “See, most film promotions these days are like soda bottles. Once they are opened, the fizz is gone! It’s almost like promotions are done for weekend collections. And you even see people claiming that their film is a hit depending on this collection. But a film can be declared a hit only when it’s running to packed houses on a Tuesday also! More than promotions we need to pay attention to the way we tell our stories.
What works with our audience are emotions. Tell a story in an emotional manner and I don’t see why it won’t work. But bina emotions ke kuch bolne jaoge, toh kisi ko bhi nind ajaayegi!”
As we continue to discuss Bollywood, he notes that Hindi cinema is currently in a good phase. “Audiences at this point are spoilt for choice. Where there is a Dabbang, there is also a Vicky Donor. You can find variety in the kind of stories that are being told.” His production house is also funding a variety of projects we find out. “There are three films and one of them will see the three Deols (Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby) sharing screen space again.
The other one will feature Salman Khan in the lead, while the third film will star new comers. And at this point I’m not ready to reveal anything else but the cast,” he says expecting our next question. Kannada film Nimbehuli, a satire, which is out to tell that life is full of sweet and sour experiences, is his other production. The film that stars popular comedians and Hindi actor Anupam Kher is being directed by Hemanth Hegde. “Yes of course, there is the Kannada project. And I don’t see why I won’t be looking at Punjabi, Bhojpuri and every other language very soon...,” he ends on a rather optimistic note.