Mumbai, Aug 12: An Aanand L Rai film — whether directed or produced — brims with simplicity, a quality, the director says, he cannot do without.
After a patchy start with “Strangers” and “Thodi Life Thoda Magic”, Rai found his footing as a director in films like the “Tanu Weds Manu” series and “Raanjhanaa”‘.
“The key to my films is simplicity. I haven’t changed fundamentally post ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, because I don’t want to. I have this fear… You can say I am very aware about this, that the day I change as a person I won’t be able to make the kind of films that I do,” Rai said in a group interview.
“I’ll always keep my inner self like this, the way it is now, because my stories come from there. If I changed my inner core, if I get corrupted, if I let this simplicity go, it’ll reflect on the stories,” he added.
Along with blockbuster directorial hits, Rai soon become one of the top most producers by backing films like “Newton”, “Shubh Mabgal Saavdhaan” “Happy Bhag Jayegi” and “Mukkabaaz”.
“I have kept my simplicity intact, whether I direct or produce a film. I don’t ever want to change that. Because that’s what people connect with my film. I have carried that simplicity in all my films,” he said.
The director does not feel he has changed his approach towards films because the audience has changed. He believes the viewers were always smart but the writers seldom offered them great material.
“The audience hasn’t changed. They were always smart and intelligent. Today the directors are telling new stories because we are writing new ones. If the audience was not smart, how did we have ‘Mother India’, ‘Guide’, ‘Pyaasa’?”
“But then there came a phase where we become complacent. We just didn’t offer the audience anything new. But today, slowly we have picked up again. We are back to writing good stories and the audience, like always, is appreciating,” he says.
Rai is currently looking forward to the release of his next, “Manmarziyaan”. Portions of the film were earlier filmed by Sameer Sharma featuring Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Vicky Kaushal but the project got shelved.
It was later revived with “Bareilly Ki Barfi” director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari coming on board to direct it but the project again fell through.
The film was finally directed by Anurag Kashyap, this time featuring Vicky, Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek Bachchan.
“I am just on the lookout for good stories. There was never a time when I thought ‘Manmarziyaan’ won’t happen because I believed in the story and stood by it. This was meant to happen.”
“A good story never dies. And if it’s with me, it’ll never get lost. You just cannot deprive the audience of a good subject,” he adds.
His next directorial is Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Zero” scheduled to release this December.