The day of love, Valentine’s Day, has become a national holiday of sorts. All the films that release on this day have done exceedingly well. Last year, Gully Boy opened on this day and earned a huge Rs. 19.40 crore. 6 years ago, Gunday too managed to a smashing opening of Rs. 16.12 crore on February 14. This year, this special day will see the release of one of the most awaited films of 2020, directed by Imtiaz Ali. It’s untitled yet and stars one of the hottest pairs today, Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan. Their chemistry has been electrifying off-screen and hence audiences can’t wait to see them together on screen. Moreover, with Imtiaz at the helm and Pritam Chakraborty giving music, its album is also expected to be something to watch out for. The film opens exactly a month from now but shockingly, the makers haven’t even revealed the title of the film yet. Also, there has been no clarity as to when the film’s trailer and music will be out. Fans on the internet are already sharing their excitement and curiosity and how can’t wait to see a glimpse of the film.
However, the wait, it seems, is about to get over. In an exclusive chat with Bollywood Hungama, Dinesh Vijan, the reputed producer and owner of Maddock Films, who has backed this film, tells us, “In two days, you’ll know what the title is and ultimately, what the film is. And this week, you’ll also have the theatrical trailer out.” When asked why the marketing didn’t begin earlier, he reasons, “The intent nowadays is to do a four-week promotional campaign. And we generally promote films only for a month”
Maddock Films today has become a force to reckon with. Not a single film of Dinesh Vijan’s banner has been a conventional entertainer. What’s more, most of them have been hits at the box office. He got the much-deserved respect when his 2017 social entertainer Hindi Medium went on a rampage at the box office. Then his 2018 horror comedy Stree earned more than Rs. 100 crore. Last year too was great for them, thanks to the success of Luka Chuppi and Bala. And looking at their line up in 2020, Maddock Films is all set to rock the show once again.
Dinesh Vijan, at this, graciously gives credit to his team, “Maddock is built by writers and then directors” and then adds, “I started my career with Sriram Raghavan (with Agent Vinod), Homi Adajania (Being Cyrus) and Imtiaz Ali (Love Aaj Kal) and they all have been instrumental in my journey. And now I am working with all of them. 11 years ago was when Love Aaj Kal came. Now are getting its sequel. So there’s a lot of excitement. The idea is only to focus on content because that’s what had worked for us. Moreover, we have the support and loyalty of some very talented writers like Bhavesh Mandalia and Gaurav Shukla who have written Angrezi Medium. Niren Bhatt wrote Bala and is writing another one for us. So I am proud we have enough writer-loyalty. We are also pouring into digital and are working on 2-3 shows that will go into production somewhere this year. Again, it was backed by two years of writing.”
With so many films and web shows in the pipeline, does he face work-stress or burnout? He replies in the negative and explains, “Well, we are backed by writers and directors, and also a hundred more people who work very hard. So we have built the infrastructure. My role is to pick the right subject.” What adds to his excitement is collaborations with professional and popular actors. “I have managed to work with a talented brigade who are very hard working and professional like Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Kartik Aaryan, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Radhika Madan, Shraddha Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor etc.,” he says.
Further explaining his journey, he emphasizes, “If you say 2020 is looking good, then our aim is to take the good work further in 2021. It’s not pressure but it’s exciting to pick up subjects like say Bala. Who would have thought 3 years ago that a film like this would do so well? Same goes for Badlapur, Hindi Medium, Stree and Luka Chuppi. These were those small, content films which never did more than Rs. 30-40 crores but they went on to business in the range of Rs. 90-135 crore. It’s also thanks to you guys. Since Hindi Medium, Maddock has been supported by the press and audience. Ultimately, good content has to be rewarded and you guys have done that. It has led to a very positive feeling in the company. Everyone is very driven here. Every director wants the other director’s film to work. Every writer is willing to contribute to the other writer’s script. So the environment is Maddock is very healthy”
After Imtiaz Ali’s next, Dinesh Vijan will present Angrezi Medium, the comeback film of Irrfan Khan after his cancer scare. When asked if the actor would be able to promote, he reveals, “Right now, the only thing I can tell you is that the edit is locked and the background score of first half is done. Irrfan has seen the film and we are all very proud of it. The performances are beautiful and what the story tells is very beautiful. In about two weeks, we’ll start planning how we plan to go about putting it out. That’s when we’ll have more clarity.”
Another special film from the Maddock stable is Mimi, a female-centric film on surrogacy starring Kriti Sanon. “Yes, even Mimi is beautiful. I saw around 45 minutes of it and almost the entire first half. Not just Kriti Sanon, but everybody has done well, including Pankaj Tripathi. It’s got a good vibe,” he shares and signs off.