|Monday, July 13, 2009|
This past Monday, the 6th of July, as I walked into the J.W Marriot to celebrate the great success of our film Kambakkht Ishq, after repeated congratulations, almost every journalist asked me the same two questions:
1. How does it feel now that the film has been declared a super hit ... did you expect it to be so successful?
I feel euphoric. Nearly 150 films are released every year and yet only a handful can earn the tag of being a "super hit". So, yes, it makes me feel very special that I could do that, and that too with my first film.Also I am not going to be modest… YES I did expect this. I started with big dreams and expectations and believed fully in them. After months and months of sitting in isolated rooms writing, thinking about how to involve the audience, how to most impact them so that they laugh, they cry, they be entertained through the film, it is such a wonderful feeling to feel satisfied that we succeeded.
2. How do you feel about the critics not responding well to the film?
To be completely honest again, the day we decided to make a film with a premise in which a watch, that would ring every hour, was accidentally left behind inside the hero's stomach, we knew we were not making a film for critical acclaim. We knew this film was, quite simply, a means to entertain the audience
But I would like to respond to some of the critics who attacked this film in a very personal way, often with a strong hidden agenda. I feel I must comment, because like me, there will be more first-time filmmakers eagerly releasing their films and looking at the critics for a fair review. Critics who called the film illogical and sexist ... yet, rated a quite illogical and outrageously sexist Hollywood flick The Hangover, with four stars! The hypocrisy seems quite blatant. One is certainly allowed to his or her own personal taste, but when it is this inconsistent, one has to ask what is behind the opinions. Will due respect be given only if a film like this comes from the west or it garners $200 million before the critics in India review it.
What I am trying to say is the millions of people that pack into audiences are no less intelligent or critically thinking than the few who publish their critiques in the newspapers. And, in turn, those viewers who typically show preference for "intelligent" films also seek out entertainment and emotional stimulation. So, why are both camps so disparaging of the other? I think the oppositional dichotomy established only serves to limit each one of us as a viewer. It is time critics acknowledge that this generation of filmmakers are far too cinema literate, informed and aware. I do not assume my audience any less intelligent, as the critics have implied, because they seek entertainment in a film. Trying to run down mainstream cinema feels so passe.I would like to sum up by saying we should not attempt to read more into a film than is there. There are many films that are purely intended to be an escape, but, why should an escape be any less valuable? In these times, when one cannot open a newspaper, turn on the news, or even look outside on the street without feeling the heavy weight of a tumultuous world filled with international crises, should I not be impressed if someone is able to carry me to a more up-beat emotional state with a film? We are so hesitant to deem acclaim to comedy or romantic films (which we typically reserve for "serious" dramas). Perhaps, instead, the respect awarded to any given film should be determined equally by the emotional and intellectual reactions provoked and pleasure it provides. How could we then say that the emotions of an audience of millions are any less or more relevant then the emotions of a small handful of people called "the critics"? The critics are allowed to their opinions. But, compared to the feelings and reactions of the millions of viewers, I know where my real judgment is coming from. The audience.
The audience that has truly loved the film because it's not everyday (and the critics will agree too) that a film does Rs. 100 crores business worldwide in its very first week.
Thank You audience.
Posted by Sabbir Khan
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Posted by Mahindra Gorele at 3:35 AM