I recall the first time I met Milan Luthria was in London during the promotions of his movie Taxi 9211. So when I met him I recall his curious high and low pitch voice telling me that why he chose to dabble with subjects diverse from the clichÃ©d imagination of the audiences. Milan is a portrait of the artist as pragmatist. On the flip side, he also makes a heartfelt plea for serious film making to continue at a time when a lot of Bollywood movies have started to resemble video games. So when you look back at his work from his debut movie to Taxi 9211 to Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, you notice that he makes films and not movies. Yes, he believes that films can aspire to be art but equally, art must show awareness of its audience. Luthria's drive and obsession with films burn as brightly as ever and one can sense that by reading his sensible quotes from the below answers. Milan is durable when it comes to direction but for once he goes the other route - the 'Dirty' one. He isn't an auteur but he's far more than just a technician. Presenting you Milan Luthria's 'Dirty' obsession with films, friends and his beloved film fraternity.
"You haven't indulged your senses in a woman and her emotions in a long time. The Dirty Picture is that indulgence"
There's a nice and a happy way of looking at the word 'Dirty'. The Dirty Picture celebrates lust and doesn't stamp it into the ground. Why not bring another emotion to the movie is what I thought of. We are saying to the audiences to come and celebrate with Silk aka Vidya Balan in all her colours like a rainbow. You haven't indulged your senses in a woman and her emotions in a long time. The Dirty Picture is that indulgence.
"The offbeat excites me more than the regular"
I was hungry for a challenge. I didn't want to enjoy my success and repeat something I had done. I wanted to feel cornered and desperate again and take on something that was impossible at the outset which could really make me work harder than Once Upon a Time. Doing a film on sex and lust and all is always difficult. We got the title that was strong and the offbeat excites me more than the regular. It truly tests your skills as a director to jump from one genre to another. From the most acclaimed male driven films of the recent times to work on a whole new woman story was a challenge that I accepted.
"We've gone sharper and shorter with our words this time around when it came to dialogues and screenplay"
If I compare the writing and the dialogues of The Dirty Picture, I can definitely say that the lines took little time to establish themselves and for people to pick them up in Once Upon a Time. But here even if it's two three words any actors have said in the promo, everyone have picked up. We've gone sharper with our words this time around and it always works. Short and not too long dialogues always work.
"I said to Vidya that she has carved out a niche amongst the women just like what Aamir Khan has done in the men"
I said to Vidya that she has carved out a niche amongst the women just like what Aamir Khan has done in the men. She has walked her own path, has got a cult following, she has not been afraid and she is a little packet of dynamite. What I felt strongly about was the fact that why wasn't Vidya presented in all her glory. Why wasn't she looked at like what Sridevi and Vyjantimala were presented as a funny, dramatic, beautiful actress? I was very much annoyed and I wanted to correct all that in one film. Vidya is a phenomenal person and she has absolutely no hang-up. She had no inhibitions while portraying the boldest of scenes. It's erotica well defined and captured and it is one of the most powerhouse performances in a long time from a leading actress.
"The Dirty Picture is Ekta's no holds barred production and Vidya's no holds barred performance and it's my no holds barred direction"
The Dirty Picture is Ekta's no holds barred production and Vidya's no holds barred performance and it's my no holds barred direction too. But apart from that, it has some brilliant antics by Naseeruddin Shah and the bonus element of the film is humour from Tusshar and a very beautiful love story between Emraan and Vidya. Some of the best scenes in the film are between the two of them.
"Naseeruddin Shah is a guy who values relationships. I go a long way back with him"
Naseer is a guy who values relationships a lot. I go a long back with Naseer and have assisted on movies that he was in like Naajayaz, Sir, Chahat and there was one more film that I can't remember. But we came very close to each other while working on those films. This time around when I met him I told him, "Sir I want you to party now because it's time to relax and enjoy the fun and the best actor in the business does just that. Let your hair down, dance and sing". He totally agreed. He has done his role with a devilish charm.
"Tusshar is a king when it comes to comedy and his timing is impeccable"
We've given Tusshar an interesting character. He comes into his own in the movie. Tusshar is very funny in some scenes and his strength lies in true comedy. Tusshar is a king when it comes to comedy and his timing is impeccable.
"The USP of the movie is the pairing between Vidya and Emraan"
People have not realised that the USP of the film is the pairing between Vidya and Emraan. It's something that will be lapped up so well. He is paired with one of the top actresses of our times. Their chemistry is very sexy and helps the film a lot.
"We were thinking of casting Ajay Devgn in The Dirty Picture but it didn't work out"
I was thinking of casting Ajay Devgn in The Dirty Picture. We did think that Ajay would suit one of the parts. But as we developed the story further we thought that we would not be doing justice to it. There is a very easy camaraderie. We were very conscious on what we do together after Once Upon a Time should be designed around our pairing again. We are working towards that. We will be announcing something soon.
"Ekta is here to win"
Ekta is here to win and she wouldn't be playing this game otherwise. She is the queen of television and I remember her telling me that she had plans of opening a film studio and today she is sitting right on top. That was her conviction from day one. She is very driven and fearless and very good at handling her talent. She knows her strengths and weakness and allows her directors a free hand. We have a very good understanding. I focus on the creative's and she focuses on the marketing.
"Vidya allowed me to film her the way I thought was correct"
What sometimes made me uncomfortable was the quantum of trust Vidya had placed on me. She allowed me to film her the way I thought was correct. The responsibility became that much more. I tried to strike the right balance. I have had my share of sleepless nights and trying to strike the right balance because at the end of the day it has to be a performance that has to be respected. There has been a lot of hand holding and there were times when we were worried how the movie had shaped up. We had a great rapport right from costume fittings to neck lines and to histrionics and I gave her more than she was giving me. That's been our nature of relationships. It was a lot of hard work and it's paid off.
"I worked with Silk Smitha in Naaraz and Disco Shanti in Naajayaz as an assistant director"
I'm fortunate that I have met Silk Smitha while I was an assistant director. I have done one song with Silk Smitha and one song with Disco Shanti. With Silk I worked in Naaraz and with Disco I worked in Naajayaz. Both of them were quite impressive and we were watching in awe. I didn't get a chance to interact with both though because of the language barrier.