In a league of his own
To find success is almost every director’s dream and Anand Kumar is no different. And so, he is ready to serve what he thinks his audiences want to see. With Delhii Heights and Juggad to his credit already, Anand is ready with Zila Ghaziabad, a multi-starrer, which brings together Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi once again.
“After two films I realised that the audience does not want to see what they go through in their real life. They enjoy watching things which they cannot do in real life. Which sort of explains why people enjoyed Dabanng and Ek Tha Tiger.”
Was he influenced by the popularity of movies which centre around the hinterland while working on Zila Ghaziabad? “Yes,” replies Anand. “The concept appeals to the younger generation today.” No wonder then, in order to make Zila ... a commercial success, Anand has pulled out all the stops. It is a big budget film, has an item number, the Indian hinterland as its backdrop, backed up by smart dialogue and a star cast that includes Vivek Oberoi, Minnisha Lamba and Ravi Kishen too.
For all that he is a filmmaker today, it wasn’t a conscious decision to take up direction until 1990, when Anand watched Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva. “It was one film that drew me time and again in order to understand the technical aspects in it. My bonding got further established after seeing Ghayal.”
What was so special about these films? “The technical aspect. While watching Shiva, certain scenes were not clear . I later found that steady cam was used for the first time. My curiosity pushed me to read more on the subject.”
This was the reason why, while pursuing Mass Comm in Hyderabad, Anand began frequenting film studios and watching the making of Tamil and Telugu films. “Back then, I felt I don’t have to work as an assistant to any director but pave my own path. I entered into documentary filmmaking and made DJ 360 degree, a film on the top DJs of the country,” reminisces Anand.
The in-depth study led Anand from docus to pop albums. “I used to make videos for remix songs produced by small companies and spent a good six years, which in turn gave me exposure for direction,” says Anand, who got an opportunity from Sivaji Productions to write and direct a movie in 2006.
He chose Delhi and Delhiites to try out his skills. “I have spent my life here. I know about relationship issues that people go through in their lives. I penned it all down and came up with Delhii Heights,” he explains. “My producers were happy with the story and called it a complete package for new age cinema which was entertaining yet realistic,” says Anand. The film which also starred Jimmy Shergill and Neha Dhupia was also critically acclaimed.