Abhinay Deo is having a great time right now. Nothing to do with the fact that he is busier right now sorting out the last minute additions and alterations for the DVD of Delhi Belly. So to call him a 50-50 director may just be apt. He’s got a dud and a blockbuster. But the truth is something else altogether. It’s Bollywood and out here you are known by your last film. Well Mr. Deo, if you still haven’t popped open the champagne bottle, I can surely come handy. And to say – Abhinay is back in the ‘game’ will be the best way to describe him given the fact and the circumstances. The director has a lot in mind right now but he can explain it all in three simple truths – Follow your inner self, Follow your heart and Follow your dreams. All this and much more in this exclusive post success chat with the man responsible for showing us the real picture – Abhinay Deo.
“You cannot take away the amount of work the team has also put in”
I can say that very comfortably right now that I am known today by my last film (laughs) because Delhi Belly has done supremely well. But having said that, I don’t want to believe that the director is known by the last film he has done. There is a lot of hard work that goes in every film a director makes. You cannot take away the amount of work the team has also put in.
“I don’t know whether I can pick a project after knowing what the audiences like”
The only thing I want to do now after the phenomenal success of Delhi Belly is think from the heart. I don’t know whether I can pick a project after knowing what the audiences like. I doubt that. I plan to listen to my inner voice from now on and move ahead. I am dying to go on a holiday now too (laughs).
“You can predict the weather but cannot predict the box office”
At this point of time, if you look at the numbers, I am at a 50-50 success rate (laughs). I am extremely happy with how Game had shaped up. It didn’t do well at the box office wasn’t in my hands. It’s in no one’s hands. I will always be proud of Game. But the question is – What success are we talking about? Box Office? I hope I don’t come to a crossroad in my life where there’s a film I am very unhappy about but it has done well at the box office. I’d rather make a film I am happy about. Of course yes, Box office success makes a massive difference but it is the most unpredictable too. You can predict the weather but cannot predict the box office.
“Aamir’s a genius and that’s an understatement”
What I’ve learnt from Aamir in the last three years isn’t enough. The first advice that Aamir ever gave me was to go out there and make the film I wanted to make. He had no idea about my work. The only work he had seen was my advertising work, so he was judging my credibility from that. The second piece of advice he gave me was to never ever stop listening to your inner self, whether it’s for a shot or a scene or a film or a story. It is very important that our inner self talks to us all the time. Aamir has got his finger right on the pulse of his audience and he knows exactly where what and how to pitch. Aamir’s a genius and that’s an understatement.
“I request people of our industry to value writing”
I hope that the writers do get their credit in our industry. But this isn’t the first time that it’s happened. Some incredible writing has happened in our industry before that has gone completely unnoticed. Film like Rang De Basanti is a superb example. Rensil may be known for his Kurbaan but never for his Rang De Basanti. Ashutosh Gowariker directed Lagaan but no one applauded him for the writing of Lagaan. Writing is a foundation of any building. With Akshat having written such a fantastic script, Aamir on the other hand made sure that everyone got their right and due credit too. Akshat was one of them. He was also the creative director of the film. I request people of our industry to value writing.
“So to say that Delhi Belly got made because of Kiran Rao is right”
When Aamir was in no mood to listen to any of the scripts lying, it was Kiran Rao who made it all happen. So to say that Delhi Belly got made because of Kiran Rao is right (laughs). But in between Delhi Belly when we were into our marketing stage and all, I was given the task of the Hindi dub version. I was doing it for two and a half months. Someone had to be responsible for music. That’s where Kiran Rao stepped in. She is also a good director herself and she understood everything.
“Jim was the only person who got everyone to base when on sets people wanted to try something different”
As far as Jim Furgele is concerned, he has been one of the strongest pillars of our film. Nor has he written it neither directed it. But as a producer he has done a remarkable job. Firstly, Jim had never left the U.S to come to India ever. That’s the bravest step a man like Jim can take. So rightly, Delhi Belly was an American film that came out to India and got made (laughs). Jim was the only person who got everyone to base when on sets people wanted to try something different. He believed in Akshat’s script so much that nothing was altered or added to make it better. It was tight and I just had to execute the film.
“Take risks, it’s alright. It may be successful. That’s what Bollywood needs to learn”
There is nothing called ‘An art of success’. What people can learn from the success of Delhi Belly is that such films and such genres can be made in India. Audiences have been waiting to watch such stuff all this while. Take risks, it’s alright. It may be successful. That’s what Bollywood needs to learn and let’s not go with formula films.