By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In Part I of the conversation, Anant Mahadevan, whose Aggar has just hit the marquee, he had talked about the film's unique casting and how he was inspired by Hitchcock way of direction when it came to thrillers.
Those who have watched the film do vouch for the fact that it's the film's casting and tout narration which deserves appreciation. In the concluding part of the interview, Mahadevan takes these positives in his stride and looks forward to audience appreciation leading to an exponential build up in interest for the film, which has regretfully opened to low numbers.
"What can one do when everything which is external to your film goes wrong", asks an exasperated Anant, "I can understand if you make a bad film and people reject it on Day One. I also understand if vibes around your film are so bad that no one even ventures into theaters. But it is just amusing when your film is affected by factors like festive season, cricket, and multiple releases in a month or sheer bad luck."
"People are coming out of the theaters and telling me that it's a pity to see Aggar not been recognized for it's worth", informs Anant whose last release Victoria No. 203, which came barely a fortnight back, has been a washout.
"And didn't I say sorry for that immediately", asks Anant, "Immediately after the flak which the film got, I did go on records to say that I won't be making a remake anymore. But for Aggar, all of us, including the actors, had nothing but positive hopes. No one who saw the film had anything wrong to say about the thriller. Anyways, we had never set out to make a great film. The thought was simple - Entertain audience in those two hours."
Tell him that Mithoon's music has come for some flak and he defends the young composer, "I agree that there is no single number which could be hailed as the film's USP. But if you observe closely, as a package the soundtrack goes well with the narrative. In fact not many know that 'Sehra' [picturised on Tusshar and Udita], my favorite, has been shot at a Kanchanaburi (near Bangkok) where there is this world famous 'Bridge of River Kwai'. We were stationed in this jungle resort where everything floated on water. With water underneath us, every time it seemed as if we were going through some mild earthquakes!"
Most reports indicate career best performances by Shreyas Talpade, Udita Goswami and Tusshar Kapoor. What does he feel? "I feel bad for the actors. They gave everything to the film. Such dedication. I still remember the time when I had narrated the script to Shreyas and Tusshar. Now we all know that both of them come from different schools of film making. I observed some reactions from Tusshar while the narration was on.
Later, I was apprehensive if Shreyas too would have similar reactions. But to my pleasant surprise, he reacted the same way as the story neared its culmination. This is when I knew that I have a story which would cater to all segments of audience. Little did I know that eventually it will all boil down to the time period when Aggar is released."
With good expectations that Aggar would see a revival of sorts at the box office, Anant does comment, "I know that it is a uphill task for me to be really recognized by my own film fraternity for the work I do even after directing seven films (Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar, Dil Maange More, Aksar, Victoria No. 203, Aggar along with yet to be released Anamika and Staying Alive). I am at my wits end to understand why am I still considered as an outsider in spite of being in entertainment business for close to 25 years?"
Is he feeling a little let down? "I won't say I am let down, disillusioned or anything of that sorts. It is just that I have to build a catalogue of work which brings me to a kind of position that tomorrow I could walk over to a Shah Rukh, Salman or an Aamir and offer them a film. Fair enough, it may sound a little far fetched, especially at this juncture, but at the least I should be able to have an Arshad Warsi or a John Abraham to green signal my project", he makes an honest remark.
Concluding the conversation, Anant says positively, "I am a fighter, I don't deny the fact that the struggle is still on. I know that I have to continue working hard and make my presence felt. Till then I am keeping my fingers crossed to see appreciation growing further for Aggar. There is no denying the fact that the film would rock when it comes on DVDs. But what I want is the world to see it at theaters first. After all in Bollywood, movie making is a business where you are recognized more for the revenue your film generates at box office than elsewhere, isn't it?"