Hungama (2003), the crazy comic caper, celebrated its 20th anniversary on August 1. On this joyous occasion, Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Ratan Jain, of Venus Records And Tapes Pvt Ltd. The producer took out time from his busy schedule to talk about the film, his memories and a lot more.20 Years of Hungama EXCLUSIVE: Ratan Jain reveals that the CRAZY climax was shot on the first day of shoot; actors had no clue about the film’s plot: “Unn actors ne wohi kiya jo Priyadarshan ne unko bola – ‘Aap yahan khade raho’, ‘aap yahan se kudo’, ‘aap yahan se bhago’”
This was your first film with Priyadarshan. Could you tell us how you both got the idea to make Hungama?
The story was suggested by Priyan ji. I was making a different film with him at that time. Due to certain reasons, it could not be made. That was a film starring Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. This is when Priyan ji narrated Hungama’s story. He assured that it can be made as a quickie. I agreed.
Were Akshaye Khanna, Aftab Shivdasani and Rimi Sen the original choices?
Yes, they were.
Aftab Shivdasani told us in a Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview that he got so confused during the narration that he had to write down the characters and the cross-connections. Did you also get similarly confused?
Yes. But yeh filmein aisi hi hoti hai (smiles). You have to trust the director. Such films cannot be narrated. During the narration, an actor can only understand his role and what he’s doing in the film. He won’t understand the full script. Hungama was in that zone.
The late Neeraj Vora must have had a huge contribution. His writing was impeccable.
Yes, he contributed tremendously. There’s no doubt. But the main credit goes to Priyan ji. Both formed a great team and understood each other very well. Aaj kal writers ki yeh bahut badi problem hai ki woh director ko theek se samjhe toh sahi.
Did you visit the sets of Hungama?
Yes. I remember the first day of shooting was in Chennai. All the artists travelled together from Mumbai. There must be 12-15 actors. And we shot the climax on the very first day! All the actors were asking each other ‘Tumhara role kya hai?’. And no one knew anything! Aftab Shivdasani aur Akshaye Khanna ko malum hoga. But the rest of the actors had no clue.
We reached the sets. The godown setup was ready. Priyan ji started instructing the actors. Unn actors ne wohi kiya jo Priyan ji ne unko bola - ‘Aap yahan khade raho’, ‘aap yahan se kudo’, ‘aap yahan se bhago’. This is because director ke mind mein sab kuch tha na. Neeraj ji was also present.
How were the reviews to the film? Did the hard-nosed critics like Hungama?
The reviews were positive. Bahut acche bhi reviews nahin the par acche the. Nobody had any expectations from the film, after all.
When we exclusively spoke to you about Khiladi (1992) on its 30th anniversary, you revealed it was tough to get theatres. Did you also found it difficult to release Hungama? After all, Koi Mil Gaya (2003) released a week later (on August 8) followed by Tere Naam (2003; on August 15)…
No. By the time Hungama released, we had become an established company. During Khiladi, we were new to the business. Even director-duo Abbas-Mustan was new. With Hungama, the director was already popular. All these factors matter a lot.
In a scene where Nandu’s (Aftab Shivdasani) missing ad is shown, we come to know that his surname is Apte and he was the son of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte, the iconic character played by Paresh Rawal in Hera Pheri (2000). Did you guys attempt a crossover more than a decade before it became mainstream with Singham-Simmba-Sooryavanshi and Tiger-Pathaan…
(Laughs) We never thought about it. All these little things were all planted by Priyan ji. Yeh sab cheezein woh humein samjha bhi nahin sakte the. Unko malum tha ki kya karna hai.
For me, the biggest issue in Hungama was that it was difficult for me to understand certain things in the film. It’s only when the film got edited and I saw the first cut that I understood the story! Shooting ke waqt aap director se ek-ek cheez ka clarification nahin puch sakte. Moreover, those were the days when the idea of boundscript was not very prevalent.
What do you think went wrong with Hungama 2 (2021)?
I didn’t like the climax. Rest, everything was fine. Aur Akshaye Khanna aur Aftab Shivdasani jaise actor nahin the usme. That also makes a difference.
Will you be interested to make Hungama 3?
It all depends on the script. Right now, we are working on Hulchul 2. The scripting is going on. It’ll be directed by Priyadarshan.
What’s the status of Kaagaz 2, directed by late Satish Kaushik?
It’ll release soon. The post-production is in the final stages.
Will it release in cinemas or on the web?
We are yet to take a call on where we would like to release it.
Is there anything else in the pipeline?
There are many other plans. Lekin aaj kal aisa hi ki jab tak shuru nahin hoti, tab tak bolke faayda nahin hai.
Also Read: 20 Years of Hungama EXCLUSIVE: Priyadarshan reveals he made this CRAZY comedy after his film with Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan got shelved: “The script did not turn out to be as challenging. It was while working on this film that I met Shah Rukh. He was very positive that we would work together”
More Pages: Hungama Box Office Collection , Hungama Movie Review
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