After the critically-acclaimed Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's next directorial was Abhishek Bachchan-Sonam Kapoor starrer Delhi-6 in 2009. However unlike his previous film, Delhi-6 didn't live up to the audience's expectations and tanked at the box office.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, Mehra has opened up on how he was in a dark place for six months post the film's debacle in his autobiography, The Stranger in the Mirror, co-written by Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta.
Talking about how he was affected by the failure of Delhi-6, Mehra wrote in his book, "The film opened on Friday, 20 February 2009, to a great response. By Sunday, we had done over ₹40 crore of business, but then came Monday, and the audience just vanished from the theatres. I was devastated. Was it too dark a reality for them? Were they unable to identify with the protagonist? The box office debacle, and my own conflict with what ending was appropriate, shook me deeply. Was I capable of producing great cinema consistently? Was Rang De Basanti a fluke?"
The filmmaker recalled how he drowned himself in alcohol as he was unable to take all flak from the critics and the death threats and said, "I was going deeper and deeper into a dark hole. Unable to take it anymore, I drowned myself in alcohol. I wanted to drink myself to death - to sleep and never get up. I could see how much pain I was bringing to Bharathi (his wife) and our daughter, Bhairavi, who was now in her pre-teens. My son Vedant was observing and things were eroding between us. I remained careless and insensitive to the people I loved the most."
Mehra revealed that his wife helped him see the reason and six months later, he woke up and called the film's cinematographer Binod Pradhan. He told him about the original script, in which Abhishek's character is beaten to death as against the one which featured in the theatrical release version. The duo, along with his wife Bharathi reworked the ending. Later, the film was submitted to the Venice Film Festival where it received a positive response.
Speaking about this alternate ending, earlier this year in an interview with Film Companion, Abhishek had recalled how late actor Rishi Kapoor wasn't okay with his character Roshan dying in the climax and had even thrown a tantrum about it.
Despite being a flop show at the box office, Delhi-6 had bagged two National Awards.