Known for his amazing comical films, this director has the ability to tickle your funny bone and make you fall off your seat. We are talking about none other that Priyadarshan who is on a high post the success of Garam Masala and is currently ready with his next comedy caper Malamaal Weekly.
In an exclusive conversation with IndiaFM, the director talks about his first original Hindi screenplay.
You're gearing up for yet another release, Malamaal Weekly. What is it all about?
It is a very interesting film. I should say that it is a very hilarious movie and a laugh riot. In my previous films like Hera Pheri and Garam Masala, the situation was always exaggerated whereas in this case, there is no exaggerated situation. It is the first Indian comedy made in the background of a village. Every character is so real like the barber, shoe maker or the milk man. The humor, situation and story line is wound around the characters. The comedy is very real and innocent. I think that is the best part of Malamaal Weekly.
This time the cast does not have your good luck charm Rimmi. But it has Reema. How did you decide on casting her?
There is a slight mistake in her name's spelling. If you change two letters, she'll become Rimmi! (Jokingly) To be honest, every film has its own casting. I never insist on having my favorite actors in my films. My writer Manisha Gawde and myself had finished writing the whole film. And might I add that this is not a remake. After we had finished writing, we thought about who would suit the role best. The only person who was fixed before we completed the film was Paresh Rawal. The rest of the cast including Om Puri, Riteish Deshmukh was finalized after the script was complete. I'm working with a lot of people with whom I have never worked earlier. The star of the film is the script. I just needed the right actors to enact their roles.
What character is Paresh Rawal playing in this film?
Paresh and Om Puri have an equal role in the film. Both of them are trying to cheat a lottery company. The whole village is holding a secret. The movie revolves around a chain of events. The end of the film is a full slapstick change. I'm sure that anybody who loves a cartoon will love this film.
What does Riteish have to offer in this film?
Om Puri is the milk man in the movie. He has to sell his cattle because of the draught. He mixes water with milk and sells it all over. Riteish is working with him and gives food to the cattle. Even though Om Puri treats him very badly, Riteish has taken this job because his childhood love is Om Puri's daughter. There is no other way he can meet her. Om Puri is dead against their marriage. Each character has something unique. Paresh Rawal is the only educated man in the village. Asrani plays Riteish's father. He is the elephant master of the village. But the elephant is not his as it has been pledged. In the full village no one owns anything. Everything has been pledged. There is no money and now with this lottery, they are trying to save the village. It is a very different film, even for me. Though it is an out and out comedy, I think it looks like an art film. The village is real and so are the characters. I really enjoyed making this film.
Who is your favorite character in the film?
Everybody! Actually, there is no hero in the film because everybody is the hero. There is no villain as well because even the heroes are the villains as they are trying to cheat somebody. It was very exciting.
What are your comments on the music of the film?
I don't think the music is of much importance in this film. It is just there to give a flavor of the village. I decided to go for Uttank Vora even though he is not as popular as Anu Malik, Pritam and Himesh Reshammiya. He gave me the right flavor of the village.
Rakhi Sawant will be seen doing a nautanki number in this song. What was that experience like?
In the film, Paresh Rawal is the one who has sold the ticket and he knows that one is the winning ticket. So he is trying to find out where the ticket is. So he has a party in the house with a nautanki. The idea is to check everybody's ticket. The nautanki is a part of the party.
All your recent comedies have been situational comedies. So will this film be along the same lines?
Absolutely! I believe only in situational comedies. I don't believe in dialogue comedies. I am dead against double meaning dialogues. This time to, I can proudly say that Malamaal Weekly is a film that the entire family can come and watch.
While on the topic of your recent releases, are you disappointed that Kyon Ki failed to live up to the audience's expectations?
I am very disappointed and I have to say a big sorry to Salman, that I have let him down.
There have been media reports that you are well on your way to Hollywood. Apparently you are in talks with Disney.
There was a lot of exaggeration in these reports. I am doing a project with Ashok Amritraj. It is not confirmed. Talks are going on. Maybe things will work out, or maybe they won't. People have a tendency to blow things out of proportion.