Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is busy finding an entry in the record books and for Ramesh Taurani of Tips Music Films, it’s the third major success in a row after Race and Kismat Konnection. With Ajab Prem… seemingly all set to cross the collections of Race and turn out to be the biggest success ever for the production house, the filmmaker obviously has good reasons to celebrate. As the film passes the test of the dreaded Monday (by not registering a major fall and staying on comfortably at the box office), Joginder Tuteja catches up with the Ramesh Taurani who now be beginning work on Race 2.
At the least, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani should turn out to be a hit with expectations of a better box office tag in weeks to come. Were you always expecting such a huge opening or you too have been surprised?
Frankly, I am not surprised at all. In fact I would have been disappointed had the collections been any lesser. I was always super confident of the product in hand and this is the reason why our marketing and promotion team went all out to make the film accessible to the ‘junta’. We knew that Ajab Prem… is the kind of film that would break the multiplex v/s single screens and urban centres v/s small town barrier. It was meant to be a film for all segments of audiences and as you can see from the collections, it is pretty much in line with our thought.
We knew that Ajab Prem… is the kind of film that would break the multiplex v/s single screens and urban centres v/s small town barrier
A large segment of the industry and media is shocked though to see the way Ajab Prem… has performed. Agreed that it had Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif in the lead with chartbuster music by Pritam. Still, a start like has resulted in quite a few reactions?
[Laughs] The industry we are in, it will always be shocked at something as phenomenal as this. We have a tendency for extreme reactions and this is no exception. I am happy though that it has happened when a film has been a success and brought in money back into the industry. It is heart breaking when a film’s failure results in a shock!
Even for Raj Kumar Santoshi, this must be a shot in the arm. After Halla Bol and Family, he must have been really down while making the film?
See, no one can deny the greatness of Raj Santoshi as a director. The talent was always there in him and he has making good films too. It’s just that a good director also needs an overall good set up. He should have a good producer, good set of actor, good music – everything.
This seems to be the reason why he was going gaga over the way the film was being promoted. Even for the film’s release, he seemed to be ecstatic about the fact that the buzz was catching up on the film in a big way…
That’s right. As I stated earlier, during the making we knew that we had a very good product in hand. This is why we came up with smart campaign to be in accordance with the kind of commercial film that Raj had made. We had to make sure that the film reaches out to the audiences.
Time and again, it is stated that the film’s real test comes on Monday after the initial hype dies down over the weekend. Seems like Ajab Prem… has passed the test?
And with flying colours (says immediately). The film has stayed stable quite extraordinarily on Monday as well which gives a clear indication of how word of mouth has spread all over and it has been liked immensely. That’s the hallmark of a good family film because the genre of Ajab Prem… is such that it cuts the boundaries. It can be seen anytime, anywhere and by anyone.
The film has stayed stable quite extraordinarily on Monday as well
Meanwhile, what happens to Race 2?
The film is on the right path and we would begin work on it in full swing now that Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani has released. Come February/March 2010 and Race 2 will go on floors. The film will certainly be bigger and better than the first part. If you thought that the twists and turns in Race were deadly then watch out for the sequel. There are many more surprises in the offering. What I can promise is though is that just like Race, this one too is an expensive thriller and would be shot on a lavish scale in foreign locations. The action too would be many notches higher.
Come February/March 2010 and Race 2 will go on floors
There has been confusion around Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor being on board in Race 2?
Along with Saif Ali Khan, only Anil Kapoor is finalised for Race 2. These two are integral elements of the film and cannot be done away with. For the rest of the star cast, the decision would be taken once the script is finalised. Expectations are so high from the film that we have to be doubly sure and get everything perfect before we start shooting for the film. Now whether Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif or Akshaye Khanna would be repeated in the sequel or if Kareena Kapoor would be added to the cast or would replace any of the earlier leading ladies is something on which I can’t comment on right now. Let the script be ready and we will decide on the balance star cast only after that.
There have also been rumours that Abbas-Mustan may not necessarily be directing the sequel. Is that true?
That’s baseless. They are certainly directing the sequel.