Nitesh Tiwari is basking in the glory of a dream run that is being experienced by his film Dangal. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama‘s Faridoon Shahryar, Nitesh shares his thoughts on watching the film with the various strata of the society. He also talks about what sets Aamir Khan apart from other superstars.
Have you seen Dangal with audience?
Yes thrice, it was very thrilling for me to see it with the audience. I saw it in a single screen also and multiplex also. The kind of response I got at both the places was more or less similar. I felt like people were not watching the film they were participating in it.
We spoke to Mahavir Singh Phogat and he’s extremely happy with the response of the film. The journey what he has lived must have been extremely difficult especially what you show in terms of societal pressures initially, what was his reaction to you as a director?
Me and Aamir were most interested in knowing what Mahavir Singh Ji, Geeta and Babita felt after seeing the film. We wanted to know whether we did justice to them. Not just Mahavir Singh ji, the way Geeta and Babita responded to the film as very heartening. They were quite moved. They had tears in their eyes and were emotional for a very long time.
What’s most important of all is the entertainment quotient which is there throughout, even the scenes where Omkar and the girls are wrestling together and there’s a tinge of humour in anything and everything. How important was that for you?
It was critical for us. When I heard the story we knew we’re sitting on something which is very good. We also realized these kinds of stories tend to get very heavy and people primarily come to consume cinema for entertainment. As writers, me and my 3 writers, our main objective was how we lighten the process, how we keep entertaining people. We’re giving a very serious message and there’s no way that message is going to get lost because that’s the DNA of the story. We wrote it with a very conscious effort and added layers of humour to it.
In the past superstars have had a problem moving away from a romantic image when they had to take up roles that required them to age, many doubts are raised by distributors, Exhibitors and Trade in general but Aamir Khan does not carry the baggage of any set image and yet can carry a film on his own should. He plays a father to grow up daughters, put on consider able weight; do you feel the fact that Aamir Khan has not had a set image is his best asset in a way?
I think what sets him apart is his appetite to take risks. He is pure heart and goes with what his heart says. Everything else becomes a by-product of it. It’s all directly proportional to the appetite to take risks, his keenness to follow his heart rather than his head. That is what makes him what he is. If not his appetite to take risks why would he be not bothered about playing somebody who’s fat and not looking like superstar Aamir Khan, playing the father to teenage daughters, learning wrestling and Haryanvi, putting health at risk and giving two years of time? Dangal came with a lot of unknown factors.
What will you miss about Dangal the most?
I’ll miss people the most, all these guys, my technicians’ team, AD team, everyone, I’ll miss everyone.