|HOME BOLLYWOOD INTERVIEW|
There are two kinds of films, one for critics and the other for audiences, believes National Award winner Priyadarshan, who has successfully straddled two worlds and says candidly that his next "Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal" is strictly masala.
Priyadarshan, whose 86-film oeuvre has been an eclectic
mix of masala and serious cinema, says he will continue making both kinds
of movies, regardless of whether they make it to the Rs.100 crore club.
"After 86 films, who cares about critics? If I want the critics to like my film, I make films like 'Kanchivaram' (Tamil film), which got me the National Award. That film is for critics, this is not for critics. 'Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal' is for people to enjoy," Priyadarshan told IANS in an exclusive interview.
"After 86 films in different languages, you do what you think is right. Some films flop, some succeed. (But) if you flop continuously, you are out," he added.
The 55-year-old is as well-known for helming Hindi comedies like "Hera Pheri", "Hungama" and "Bhool Bhulaiyaa" as for his critically acclaimed southern films like "Chithram" and "Kanchivaram".
Priyadarshan's last two Hindi outings - the issue-based "Aakrosh" and action thriller "Tezz" - didn't manage the expected response. But the director appears quite unfazed and says people want him to make comedies only, and so he is back to the genre with "Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal".
"My last two films 'Aakrosh' and 'Tezz' didn't do well. I guess people are expecting only humour from me; so I have decided to change my attitude this time," he said.
And he promises the same flavour as in his previous directorials.
"I don't want it to be different. I want it to look like my earlier comedies which people have enjoyed. There is more suspense than humour in this film. The film shows a stranger coming to town and there is suspicion about who he is," he said, talking about the movie, which stars Nana Patekar, Shreyas Talpade and Paresh Rawal.
The Hindi film industry has lately seen a string of comedy films like "Housefull 2" and "Bol Bachchan", which have struck gold at the box office, and even crossed the golden Rs.100-crore mark. But that's not the measure of success for Priyadarshan.
"Those films had huge stars. We have small stars. I don't want it to cross Rs.100 crore because the film is not made in a huge budget. As long as it makes the people happy, we are happy," he said.
But what works, he believes, is clean comedy.
"I started comedy with 'Hera Pheri'. I believe that my films are clean. There is no vulgarity or double meaning. This is how they are different," he said.
When Priyadarshan set out to experiment with comedy with "Hera Pheri" back in 2000, he was warned that the genre wouldn't work at a time when the formula of romance was at its peak. But he was willing to take the risk, and says he wants to continue doing so.
"It all started with 'Hera Pheri'. When I made it, people said Hindi cinema will never accept comedies. I have tried every kind of cinema; I still want to try serious cinema, otherwise I will get bored," he said.