I was shattered with the failure of Awarapan
I remember the time when Awarapan was hardly getting an audience for itself in the theaters. I was walking on the road, very disappointed with the fate of the film, when a stranger came across to me and said that it was my best. I was almost in tears then because it only made me feel worst. I couldn't accept that Awarapan had failed. You know your product whether it is good or bad. When your bad movie doesn't work, you don't feel bad. But what is really heartbreaking is when you're good film doesn't work and people say things like that man I met. I decided that I won't turn to alcohol to get out of my sorrow. I didn't want to upset any people. I immediately caught on to more work and immersed myself deeper and deeper into coming up with a film which would definitely work this time around.
I was as honest as I could get
Today, after the success of the film, when people tell me that it is my best work till date, I feel relieved. More so, because this time around my effort has brought in audience and hence money as well. See, I was successful in my first two films (Zeher, Kalyug). In case of Woh Lamhe, I got what I wanted from it because it was never meant to be a mainstream commercial film. However, Awarapan was a setback. Anyways I moved on and said to myself that along with good cinema, I also have to make honest cinema. Your movie may well be termed as a 'senseless cinema' but it should not be labeled as dishonest. What I did in Awarapan too was an honest effort and here for Raaz - The Mystery Continues as well, I stayed true to my conviction.
Of course the right release timing is important
Kalyug clashed with Ek Ajnabee and Neal N Nikki. None of the two films worked but Kalyug came trumps. I was assured that a good film 'always' works at the box office regardless of the release timing. Well, I was proved wrong in case of Awarapan which now clashed with Aap Ka Surroor and Apne. Both these films worked but mine didn't. What could I have said now? Anyways, I started work on Raaz - The Mystery Continues, spent 9 months to write it, shot the film for a long period of time as well and finally worked on the post production for four months. Then for the right release timing, my producers went an extra mile to lock 23rd January as the D-Day! They did a fantastic job in the promotion and made sure that Raaz - The Mystery Continues got it's audience by all means.
On the sets, only I knew about how a scene would turn out
It was quite funny to be shooting those scenes where special effects had to be added on during the post production process. There were points when actors didn't know what they were doing. Only I knew what I had envisaged, it was a very different experience for my actors since they were dealing with imaginary stuff. For example: the scene where the car gets attacked by animals. Now none of them existed when the scene was being canned but they were all acting in my imagination. There were scenes where some actors were wearing green costumes and Emraan, Kangna and Adhyayan were acting around them. Even the cameraman was unaware where to place the camera for the scene because only I was aware about the placement of my unreal characters.
Of course, I was worried about comparisons with Raaz
I would be lying if I said that I wasn't worried about the comparisons with Raaz. I knew that they were bound to take place. Moreover, I always looked at my own films for comparisons as well. If I would have just got stuck to Raaz, I wouldn't have been able to work at all. At the age of 22, I made my first film. I hadn't shot anything in my life when I directed Zeher. During the making, people said that I would not be able to make films as there were 30 year old contemporaries who were still trying to set their feet in the industry. But then Kalyug got me a lot of critical acclaim and people moved on to the next topic. They said that I should not be making Woh Lamhe because it was someone else's story. So you know, I have always lived with such comparisons. I have raised the bar for myself. Not that I am making masterpieces because I am still learning on the job.
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