Ishkq In Paris is all set to release this weekend and director Prem Raj is a happy man. After waiting patiently for his second directorial outing to hit the screens, fighting his own battle with cancer in the interim period, seeing personal tragedy on the family front and also in the know-how of the pain that his producer Preity Zinta had gone through when it comes to bringing the film into theatres, Prem confesses that he has seen a lot during last 15 months gone by. He talks about this and a lot more in this two part interview.
First things first Prem, how did Ishkq In Paris happen?
After Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna, I waited for a long time before deciding what I really wanted to make next. Contrary to some misconceptions, it wasn’t as if I thought of a subject and then approached Preity (Zinta) just because she had done a special appearance in my debut film. In fact the two of us had a lot of discussions before finalising Ishkq In Paris. We put a lot of thought into the film and only when we both were satisfied that this was the right thing for us, we moved ahead. There was nothing instinctive in our decision making and both of us were willing to give whatever time that the film required to be made.
With Preity as the central protagonist here, one can expect a mature love story, right?
Preity plays a very well sketched character and personally for her this has been something really good and new. Having said that, this is also something that goes with her personality. She is the right cast for the film because I always knew that she would be able to carry the film with a lot of grace. This is the reason why she has come into the film. If that was not the case, I wouldn’t have gone to her.
Guess it has been one journey that the two of you have shared for long now. She must be thrilled to see a good release for the film this Friday.
(Smiles) Of course she is very thrilled. Last few months haven’t been a very easy for her either. However if you look at it, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. That is the case with both of us. She is ready to fight back. In any case she is a very strong person. She too believes that there is always a right time and space for everything. Talk about delays, stuck and stuff alike would keep happening in life and she has been around for a decade and a half to know how it all works. What is required though is to focus on journey and have a clear sight of the destination. That’s where we are heading for.
Personally for you though, last few months would have definitely given a lot of fodder for thought and in the process, bring in a different perspective altogether towards filmmaking and life in general?
(Pauses) Let me put it this way; I have learnt a lot of lessons in a hard way. For example filming in February last year at Paris in tough conditions is something that turned out to be a huge challenge. Moreover, I also understood one thing that Paris is the most difficult place to shoot. The locations where I wanted to shoot were most difficult ones. Then shooting at second level of Eiffel tower is pretty much just a dream for many but we achieved that. Later to figure out the right timeline for release required us to ponder over a lot too. If I have to sum it up all though, the film has been a very enriching experience for me.
It must be a relief though to be back in the thick of things?
Yes, it is actually a lot more pleasure now. Because of the kind of trouble that we had with the film’s release and my personal life, it was quite grim and dark for a few months. I guess after darkness there is always light. (Pauses) When I think of it, I feel that it was very ambitious on our part to wrap the film in the quickest time possible and then release it. However, as the saying goes, man proposes and God disposes (laughs). I was diagnosed with cancer and all plans went for a toss.
You still wanted the film to be released last year by holding on to your treatment, right?
Yes. I went through all the troubling times and at one point in time also told Preity to release the film rather than waiting for my illness to pass by. I knew that there would be financial troubles for her and she would lose money if there were any delays. (Smiles) She thought that I had lost my head when I was saying that. She just assured me that everything would be eventually fine. She has been being around ever since then; she has been a great friend.
[To be continued in Part 2]
Watch Promo: Ishkq In Paris