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"I am doing social service by making people laugh"

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The man who can make you laugh on a gruesome day is back with another film. Needing no introductions whatsoever, we are talking about director Priyadarshan who spoke about his next film Bhagam Bhag, his forthcoming films and getting back Govinda into the limelight.

How did the concept of getting Akshay Kumar and Govinda together for the first time, spark?
I wanted to make a comedy film once again. First I had a different script. Suneil Shetty whose company is producing this film asked me to make a film. So if I had taken Suniel Shetty along with Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar, it would look like Hera Pheri. So I asked Suniel who is another option and he suggested Govinda. I was very happy because I had seen him and he has good timing. So we approached him and he just welcomed it. We wanted to make a murder mystery and treat it as a hilarious film because all the other films I have made have mostly been comedies. So I thought this would be different if I mixed comedy with a thriller.

Everybody is running in Bhagam Bhag. It looks madcap fun.
It is about a theatre going to London to perform. On the way, an actress joins them and later they realize that she had murdered her own husband. She plans it in such a way that the charges go on Govinda and Paresh. Now she has gone into hiding after the murder. These two have to prove themselves innocent by catching the actress. They are also running away from the Underworld who suspects them to be the police. So there is a lot of mistaken identity in the film. Every one is mistaken for who they are not. And everyone is on the run to prove that they are right and this is where the climax of the film happens. So it is a charged film and at the same time is treated in a hilarious way.

You association with Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and even Rajpal Yadav is known. And Govinda has never let anybody overshadow him in comedies. So who do you think will walk away with the accolades? No one will, mainly because my script is the real hero and not the actors. I always tell my artists that when they are performing comedy they don't have to do humour as the script will support the situation. My characters always act seriously.

Do you think Bhagam Bhag will revive Govinda's career?
There is no need to call Bhagam Bhag a comeback for Govinda. He was off films for a while and now he is back. I think he is the most popular mass hero India has ever seen. He still has a fan following and he has done what people expect from him and I hope that they will enjoy his work.

Pritam has been your favourite with music, off late?
Pritam has done a good job with the music. All the songs are part of the play the theatre group is performing. Other than one song all of them are on stage. So there is a lot of dance and colour. The music is very peppy.

So does it have an integral role in the film?
Yes definitely it is since it is about a musical troupe.

With Akshay, Govinda and Paresh, what kind of role will the leading ladies have?
Lara (Dutta) is not a singing or dancing girl in the film. The crime of the film is committed by her so she has an integral part.

Advise to people before watching your film?
Keep your brains at home, come- laugh and go.

Priyadarshan's forthcoming films
And if you though Priyan is taking a vacation post Bhagam Bhag, think again! He is one of the busiest directors of Bollywood presently and his tight schedule for the coming year is as follows.

Kanjivaram (Under production)
It's a period film set in the 1930s based on the lives of the workers in South who make Kanjivaram saris. I am doing the film right now.

Dhol (Announced)
It stars Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Tanushree Dutta, Rajpal Yadav and Om Puri. It will be produced by Percept Picture Company with music by Pritam. It is too early to talk about Dhol right now.

Chandramukhi (To go on floors)
It's not titled Chandramukhi yet. It's a remake of the Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu. It's going to be with T-Series starring Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Shiney Ahuja and Amisha Patel. I will start that after Dhol.

Pirate (Shelved)
I am not doing it right now. I am doing Dhol because Pirate is too serious a film to attempt at present. People are expecting more entertainment oriented movies from me. I strongly believe that I am doing big social service now-a-days by making people laugh because there is a lot of misery in everyone's life. They can forget it for 2 ' hours and that's what the best thing I can do as my commitment as a film-maker. I may or may not make it in the future. I don't plan so much ahead.

A film with Amitabh
It is always my dream to do a film with Amitabh Bachchan. Amitji and I have worked on a few ad films together but never done a movie together. I haven't decided anything yet. It was reported that I am remaking Day of the Jackal and it isn't true. I have a plot in my mind which I haven't even told Mr. Bachchan. I have to go to him and get his permission. If he disagrees then I will find another for him.

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