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'Nautanki Saala', remake of a French film: Rohan Sippy
On Monday, Director Rohan Sippy visited Gurgaon's Galaxy Hotel to promote his upcoming flick 'Nautanki Saala' with Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunal Roy Kapur. In an exclusive interview with this citizen journalist, he talked about the film (which releases this Friday), the change in the pattern of comedy in past few decaded, his belief in remakes and 100 crore race. Excerpts.

What is the story line of 'Nautanki Saala'?

The story line is all about a theatre actor and director, a character Ayushmann is playing, and one day he saves life of a guy, played by Kunal Roy Kapur. There is a Chinese saying ‘if you save someone's life then that person is your responsibility’, so he (Ayushmann) takes responsibility of this guy and then how this creates drama off stage in the life of Ayushmann and all the 'Nautanki' starts happening. It’s a simple story studded with all the complications of romance.

Is this film also based on Delhi, and was it shot in Delhi like Vicky Donor and Delhi Belly?

It’s entirely a Mumbai shoot and based on Mumbai people. Nothing is related to Delhi in this film.

What do you feel about the changing pattern of comedy in last three decades? What change do you feel has happened since the times of Sholay?

The major change I can see is what comedians would do earlier, heroes do it now. Earlier, you had separate actors like IS Johar and Mehmood Sahab but now you see Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan doing so many comedy gigs themselves. That is a big change.

Do you believe in using adult comedies and slang words?

Personally, I am not a big fan of it. I think they end up making it awkward for families to watch such movies, but you can also tell people clearly whether they should watch them with families or not.

Other than that, all kinds of comedies are happening. Look at Vicky Donor, which was very nice family film, and very different kind of comedy was in OMG Oh My God. It was not cheap and very clever and more masala film. And I think for consumers it is a best time to choose among many kinds of films coming, 'Jo aapko achcha lage aap choose kar sakte ho'.

Do you think it’s necessary to have this kind of comedy to attract more audience?

It’s definitely not necessary. OMG is the best example. Of course, it took up a social issue but it also was a hardcore comedy and same was the case with Vicky Donor as there was nothing vulgar in it, even if it was all about sperm donor. It was, however, done in a very nice way and no one felt odd about it.

What is your next project all about?

My next project is the film called 'Sonali Cable' with a new cast which I am producing not directing. I will start shooting this month. Also for next Directorial project, I am looking into scripts and hopefully before the end of this year I would able to start something.

How much do you focus on selecting a script? Are you also a perfectionist like Aamir Khan in choosing scripts?

It has to start with finding a good script. I am not a writer but for production the main thing is to find scripts and find subjects that would be interesting to develop. That is my main work and other people, who are working as producers, to identify the subject which have potential and make films based on that.

What kind of subject you personally like to make films on?

Whatever is the next one. It also depends on your previous project. After doing Bluff-master, I wanted to do something different. It was a lighter film and I thought let me do something more thriller and then I chose Dum Maro Dum, it was a whole new challenge. And after that I did not want to do something serious, but something much lighter. So it all depends on what you did previously, and that's my nature of choosing films.

Do you believe in 100 crore race?

I believe in satisfying the audience. Whoever buys the tickets should be happy, and more the number of people buying tickets, is always better. But there should be no number. If you are making very expensive films then investors need to recover their money as it is business at the end of the day. But in films like 'Nautanki Saala', we tried to keep costs under control so in that sense nobody is worried about the cost and whatever comes beyond that is a bonus and which is a way it should be. Aamir Khan has a good logic in this "agar 8 rupay lagaye hain to 10 rupay to kamane hi chahiye". This is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind while making films.

Do you believe in remakes?

'Nautanki Saala' is a remake of a French film and we gave all credits to it. I think when it comes to remake it really depends on what you do with it. If you do interesting re-invention there is nothing bad in making remakes. Lots of friends in industry make remakes, whether they call it remake or not but we have seen from where these films have come from. But the point is the version you make should make you proud that I did something interesting and raise the bar of an original.

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