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EXCLUSIVE: Aanand L Rai on Jhimma 2, “Told Hemant Dhome to make the film happier instead of bigger”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Aanand L Rai on Jhimma 2, “Told Hemant Dhome to make the film happier instead of bigger”

Aanand L Rai opens up exclusively on why he decided to produce the Marathi movie Jhimma 2.

Filmmaker Hemant Dhome’s Marathi movie Jhimma (2021) turned out to be a major hit at the box office. It starred Sonalee Kulkarni, Suhas Joshi, Kshitee Jog, Sayali Sanjeev, Suchitra Bandekar, Nirmiti Sawant, Mrinmayee Godbole and Siddharth Chandekar. The sequel of the film Jhimma 2 released last Friday, and it has become an instant success at the ticket window. The sequel doesn’t star Sonalee and Mrinmayee. Rinku Rajguru and Shivani Surve are the additional cast members.

EXCLUSIVE: Aanand L Rai on Jhimma 2, “Told Hemant Dhome to make the film happier instead of bigger”

Filmmaker and producer Aanand L Rai got so impressed with Jhimma that he decided to be one of the producers of the sequel under his banner Colour Yellow Productions along with Jyoti Deshpande for Jio Studios and Kshitee Jog Chalchitra Mandalee. This is Jio Studios’ second Marathi film of 2023 after the blockbuster Baipan Bhaari Deva.

In an exclusive chat with Bollywood Hungama, Aanand L Rai revealed the reason to back Jhimma 2. “When you are making a film as a director, you need to have a reason to tell a story,” he said. “So, as a producer also you search for that. You ask yourself why you would like to get associated with this story. For me, Jhimma 1 was a very feel-good film. It brought smiles on people’s faces. At that time, we were just coming out of the lockdown. So, the value of those smiles is very different. So, it’s not just about box office. It’s about making people happy.”

He added, “I was very sure that Jhimma 2 will also do that. We were locked in our rooms (during the lockdown). But Jhimma brought back that community feeling of all of us being together. And Jhimma 2 extended that. It showed that being together is such fun.”

Sharing what excited him about the first Jhimma movie, Rai said, “There was no pretence. All the moments were real. They were not forcefully underlined. The actors played their parts very well. It had great writing. Jhimma has a very female-loving heart. It has a softness in terms of the story and its take.”

Rai gave an interesting suggestion to Hemant Dhome before the Jhimma 2 went on floors. “I told him that he shouldn’t take the pressure of Jhimma’s tremendous box office success. I told him to only take the pressure about how honest he can be with the subject, like he did with the first film. I told him, don’t try to make it bigger. Try to make it happier and more personal,” he said.

Rai said that he will continue backing films not just in Marathi but also in other regional languages. “I am a Hindi filmmaker,” he said. “The expression of my stories is such that the Hindi audience understands it. But when you venture into different languages, be it Marathi, Malayalam or Tamil, as a student of cinema, you learn a lot about the culture and those characters. That language opens you up more to understand cinema and its expression. This is important for me and for my personal growth as a filmmaker. I will see to it that I don’t limit myself in terms of languages. I will try to do more films in different languages.”

So, what does he look into before deciding to back any subject? “It is very simple,” said Rai. “Firstly, whether I have anything to contribute to the story, not just as a filmmaker but, as I said, as a student of cinema. I then think whether I can entertain the audience (through the story) and make their two hours’ time worth and will stay with them till the next morning after watching the film. That is very important.”

Like a lot of filmmakers, Rai also visits cinema hall to witness the audience’s genuine reactions to his films. “I do (visit theatres). Around 3-4 years ago people had said that theatres would go extinct. But today when you see those reactions in the theatres, you realize that theatres can never go extinct. The overwhelmed reaction that you get in the dark room, you won’t get the same in home-viewing. The audience also knows that a story’s real output will be seen only in theatres,” said the filmmaker.

Also Read: Jio Studios and Aanand L Rai’s banner Colour Yellow Productions team up for Nakhrewaalii, starring debutant Ansh Duggal


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