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Last Updated 20.06.2024 | 11:25 AM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

R Balki was all smiles and in his element, as he talked exclusively with Bollywood Hungama about his latest release, Ghoomer, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher, and a lot more. He acknowledged that Gadar 2 wave affected Ghoomer.

EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

What’s the best feedback that you have got for Ghoomer?
I got the best feedback from Sunny Deol. I called to congratulate him on Gadar 2. Normally, one would just say ‘Thank You’ in such situations. But he said, ‘Thank you, thank you. I am sorry’. It’s not like Ghoomer didn’t come at the right time. We came at the right time. There was no other release date. It so happens that the public excitedly desired to watch that film. If we had come with Gadar 2, it would have benefited us. But in the case of Gadar 2, the word of mouth in the second week was stronger than in the first week. Hence, maybe we should have come on August 11. Then, we would have had a better word of mouth.

When you have a date like that (releasing a week after a monstrous blockbuster), the screens are also limited. From our side, we made sure that everybody knew about the film and that it’s coming on August 18. So, it was a calculated decision. But sometimes, the calculations work in one way and sometimes, it doesn’t. But the response to the film has been quite lovely. I never got so many messages in my life from schools to colleges to corporates and the industry.

You made an interesting comment last year, “I don’t think we have found the science to market our films.” Ghoomer was well marketed and yet, such was the response at the box office, possibly due to the Gadar 2 factor…
I remember so many trade veterans like Taran Adarsh and Komal Nahta urged me to postpone it. But we couldn’t as we were too committed to it. And you can’t do anything about it. Also, in today’s times, no matter how much you market your film, nobody knows why anything works. Nobody has an idea. You expect a good film to score but it doesn’t work like that necessarily.

Another film of yours that did underwhelming business was Pad Man (2018), despite being such a well-made film. Possibly, it was because it was a taboo topic…
Again, the luck of the release date was not with us. There was the Padmaavat (2018) factor. We were supposed to come on January 26. However, Padmaavat moved on that date. Hence, we had to push our film by two weeks. It took a toll. Pad Man would have had a big opening if it had released on Republic Day. It was bad luck. I guess a lot of what makes a film work is luck.

EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

Way back in 2018, there were reports that you had approached Kangana Ranaut for a film on an amputee. Was that for Ghoomer?
No. She was not considered for this film. See, Ghoomer could have only been done by someone who is a cricketer.

The protagonists in R Balki’s films usually are a bit arrogant and have a dark sense of humour, from Amitabh Bachchan in your first film Cheeni Kum (2007) or Abhishek Bachchan in your latest release, Ghoomer
Not really. I guess it’s also what you are as a person (laughs)!

Your writer Rishi Virmani and the actors in your films have said that you are unlike any of your mean and arrogant characters…
What I mean is I don't like writing about life as it is around me. I like to write about what I wish my life was. I feel people should be a little interesting. The goody-goody stuff is too boring. We do too much of it!

You recently directed the ‘Everest Shahi Biryani Masala’ ad featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. How did you get the idea to get these two legends together?
The client, Everest, has a lot of brands. They wanted to use Shah Rukh for one part of their portfolio and Amit ji for another. I suggested why don't we get them together as it’s the most unique combination? They got excited with the idea and so did Shah Rukh and Amit ji. We had a good carnival on the sets for one full day!

What was the atmosphere like on the sets?
They were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement. Shah Rukh would crack jokes and Amit ji would also joke around. Both of them are very witty. So it was lovely to watch both of them together. They also enjoyed working with each other after a long time. There was no ego and it was all fun. They are quite sharp and add so many interesting touches.

By the way, five more ads are coming up. We have already shot it. In this Jawan week, you'll see two other ads!

Did you try casting Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in Shamitabh (2015)?
Yes, originally that was the plan.

Did ‘Sh’ in Shamitabh mean Shah Rukh Khan?
Yes, correct. That was the idea.

Your anthology in Lust Stories 2 was amusing. Some claimed that it was too simplistic but the way you talked about sex, it put a lot of things into perspective for many viewers…
I wanted to do a lust story without one element of lust in it. Secondly, I wanted to treat it like a sitcom. My idea was to have a chat about sex. Why should sex be edgy? Why can't it be normal? It is simplistic but it is also a very valid conversation. My mother saw it. She enjoyed it, though I know she's very conservative. If you see, those who you think are conservative are progressive subconsciously. She saw the film and said, 'Nice. Every grandmother must talk like this'. I asked her, 'Did you ever speak like this to me?' (laughs)!

EXCLUSIVE: R Balki reveals that Sunny Deol apologized to him since Ghoomer got affected by Gadar 2; also talks about Everest ad: “Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like two kids having fun and jumping with excitement”

You have an incredible journey, from ads to making these entertaining, unique films…
I don't see my journey that way. I feel like I am exactly where I started. With every film, I start from scratch. I also don't do so many films. It’s only this year post post-lockdown that Chup (2022) and Ghoomer happened together. Also, Lust Stories 2. I also do very selective ads. This time it just all came together. Otherwise, I take a minimum of two years after completing a film fundamentally because I am lazy. I don't see it as a great journey. I still make sure nobody loses money on my films. I just want to tell a story which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been told before. I still don’t know what works and what doesn't work.

Which was the first ad that you directed?
The first ad I directed was actually a reshoot. It was a Hamara Bajaj ad that came in the 2000s with the tagline 'Badal rahe hai hum yahaan'. Somebody had shot it and it didn't come out well. Hence, I had to reshoot it as they had no money to have another director. That was the first time I shot an ad. Even before Cheeni Kum, I did two ads, both of which were reshoots. I have written many ads, a lot of which were with Amit ji. I have been with the director for these ads and edited them. But My first non-reshoot venture was actually Cheeni Kum!

I heard of an amusing incident involving Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan and a car that couldn’t fit them easily…
It was too funny. It was the first ad of Amit ji and Abhishek together. Abhishek had just come into the industry. I had not seen the car. It was not ready. The car got ready on the day of the shoot. The car arrived at the shooting location. Abhishek got into the car near the bungalow in Lonavala and started driving. I suggested that he should do a rehearsal. The ad was about Abhishek saying, 'Dad, check out my new car' to Amit ji who's sitting in the lawn. Amit ji was in rehearsal mode. Yet, when he turned around and saw the car, he was like 'What is that piece that you've got there'! Sometimes you are blind. You just look at a concept and you wish you could fit in anything in that concept. But at times, you couldn't (laughs)! I should have stopped the campaign then and there, citing that it won't work. I told the client that we were doing the wrong campaign. That person told me that it was too late. I have done many such f**k ups in my life!

Did the ad ever come out?
Yes, and it was very well received. People went in hordes to check out the car. Because more people went to see not-a-good product, the product flopped faster! It’s like sometimes you do lots of marketing for a bad film and it still flops.

What next? You must be having ideas in your mind...
Right now, I don't have a mind! Ghoomer is still very much in my system. It'll take some time to detox myself.

Sunny Deol said last year that he might be doing one film with you after Chup
We had been talking about something. But now, Sunny should do a lot of fabulous action. Everybody wants to see Sunny in action roles. For sure if I ever plan an action film, I'll be at Sunny Deol's doorstep. He's a master. For that one tiny action scene in Chup, he just took over. He was like, 'I'd do like this, I'd do that'. He was that enthusiastic about action.

Was it always there in the script?
It was and he even added a logical thing to it - the fact that he'll take the trolley and come forward.

Also Read: Ghoomer trailer launch: “R Balki will never make a film without Amitabh Bachchan,” says Abhishek Bachchan

More Pages: Ghoomer Box Office Collection , Ghoomer Movie Review


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