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Last Updated 21.10.2019 | 10:50 AM IST
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“I would rather think of 120 crore people than 15 critics” – Anees Bazmee

Anees Bazmee“>

When Ready saw a phenomenal response coming its way on the opening day, I suspected a renewed ‘josh’ in director Anees Bazmee’s voice. Jubilance was the key word and I wondered what Bazmee must be feeling with Ready turning out to be his biggest money spinner till date. To my surprise his phone was switched off on last Friday night. That on a day when his film was busy breaking records. As the weekend progressed and our conversation resumed, he informed about the quick and quiet holiday with his family to Lonavala. ‘It was about time I got some good rest’, said the tired director who has seen three of his films (No Problem, Thank You, Ready) release within six months time span. There were still no signs of any relief, anger or over excitement in his voice. He was as stable as he has always been, whether it is the super success of Singh Is Kinng, failure of No Problem, average response to Thank You or hysteria of Ready. All that the man pleaded during this tête-à-tête was – ‘Let’s stop taking ourselves way too seriously; we are making movies for entertainment sake after all’.

Ready is a huge blockbuster. You could see it coming?
Yes, I did. A family film comes with its own security cover and the kind of promotional drive that Ready had taken coupled with the fact that industry as well as audiences were so positive about the film, I had no reason to believe it won’t take such response. So yes, it would be wrong to say that I wasn’t prepared for it.

You can see the results for Ready and tell me for yourself what the majority has to say

You would also have been prepared about the backlash that came from critics.

Dekhiye, woh apni jagah movie dekh kar likh rahe hain but here I have to think about audience when I am making a film. There were a few critics who really liked the film but then there were many more who didn’t like it. Fair enough, good for them and I respect their opinion as well. Even earlier when my films did some great business, not every critic came out impressed. I have never complained. But then what I have always learnt is to think of those 120 crore people for whom I am making a film instead of worrying about those 10-15 critics who may hate it. You can see the results for Ready and tell me for yourself what the majority has to say.

Well, majority seem to have had a lot of fun. Thankfully there is a big money spinner this year after Yamla Pagla Deewana, not to forget your own Thank You which is sitting pretty as being the third highest grosser of the year.
See, you said it, not I (laughs). Now that you have spoken about this, let me also add one more thing. When people were unhappy with No Problem, I didn’t complain because I knew it wasn’t a great film, it hadn’t done fantastic business and hadn’t met audience’s expectations. That’s okay, ho jaata hai, kabhi kabhi filmein waisi nahi ban paati jaisa aap shuru mein sochte hain. But I was hurt when Thank You was being termed as a flop by a few.

Please go on…
I mean this is one film which did business close to 50 crores just in India, was the second highest grosser of the year till Ready came, wasn’t a superhit or a blockbuster but still had all ends covered and suffered basically on account of not taking a very good opening. However once it stabilised, it saw consistent business coming its way. This means that it was liked. In case of No Problem I came out in open and acknowledged the fact within the first weekend itself that it hadn’t worked. But when Thank You wasn’t given its due despite the good business that it did, I was disappointed.


When Thank You wasn’t given its due despite the good business that it did, I was disappointed

Well, it is now time to shrug away all the disappointments with Ready doing roaring business. Seems like you would be fluctuating between Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in films to come as well. After all you have delivered two huge films with each of them and would be possibly starting No Entry Mein Entry with Salman soon.
There is a good tuning that I have with both Salman and Akshay. But then I work well with others as well. I have done number of films with Ajay (Devgn) and Anil (Kapoor) too. Basically I am an honest person; jo kaam hota hai imaandaari se hota hai. There is never a thought that let me work with one actor and play favourites with him while cheating another. Ek ko naraaz karke doosre ko khush karne ka mera koyi iraada nahi hai. This is the reason why actors are willing to work with me in multi starrers as well. During shooting also there is no misunderstanding or confusion as everyone knows his part and value. My actors also realise that I am very passionate about filmmaking and that rubs upon them as well.

So what is Anees Bazmee thinking as he sees corporate houses and independent filmmakers queuing up for him for dates even as Ready comes closer to crossing the 100 crores mark?

That things change every Friday in Bollywood; that’s the beauty of this profession.

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