Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 19.08.2018 | 8:24 PM IST
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Dear Ashutosh

Dear Ashutosh, After viewing SWADES last Wednesday, when I finished putting my thoughts on paper, I had two people constantly on my mind – SRK and you, Ashu. Both being friends, I didn’t know how you would react to my off-putting, unfavorable opinion to your film. I knew it all along that the entire media would go ga-ga over SWADES and shower it with glowing reviews and 4/5 star ratings. And my sole [negative] review would stand out like a sore thumb. Your fans/well-wishers worldwide would scoff at me, perhaps even curse me and flood me with hate mails for being so hypercritical about the film. I also felt friends/producers of SRK might condemn my review. After all, I was criticizing a film that had been directed by someone whose previous film was not merely a box-office success, but also nominated for the Academy Awards. But something within me was telling me that your film would not connect with the masses [it didn’t connect with me either!]. That’s when I decided that I rather face the wrath of some people than write something I didn’t believe in. I’d rather speak my mind, I told myself. In my career, I have seldom come across people who have gracefully come to terms with reality. Almost every film-maker strongly feels that he has made a masterpiece, which just can’t go wrong and in turn gets annoyed if critics rip his film apart. Of course, before the week has even ended, the dwindling collections make the producer see reality and by Week 2, the critics are conveniently ‘forgiven’ and the ‘blame-game’ starts: Sometimes the weather is the culprit, at times the examinations, occasionally the cricket matches Very rarely have I come across a gentleman [like you] who has graciously accepted the ground realities. When I saw your name flashing on my cellphone on Sunday evening, all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind before I answered your call. But hearing your warm and friendly voice made the entire conversation easy. To start the conversation by saying that you agreed with my views largely [despite the glowing reviews and 4-star ratings by the entire media] made me appreciate the fact that you have your head firmly planted on your shoulders. Also, you’ve not got carried away by lustrous words from almost the entire media. You know exactly where your film stands vis-?is the box-office – I don’t need to repeat it here – but let me add, as an individual, my respect for you has tripled after this conversation that we had. I was moved by your gesture. Hence, this letter. I sincerely wish you great success in your future endeavours. And may you recreate the magic of LAGAAN in your next film. Regards, Taran Adarsh.

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