Modern relationships

new-age director

for the masses Director Danish Aslam’s latest release  is ‘Break Ke Baad’.

It is being endorsed as a realistic film where issues like career-choices and the generation gap are discussed. “What we are also trying to say is that any relationship needs space,” says Aslam.

Romantic drama

What does he feel, considering his movie has released recently. “I think that I have made the world’s best film when I wake up in the morning, and then start thinking that I have made the worst film as the day goes on.” Kunal Kohli, his producer and mentor, says that your film is a “massy dramedy” — a romantic comedy with a strong sense of drama.

How would he himself describe it? “I would call it a romantic film with drama and music,” he says thoughtfully and then stresses, but personally speaking, I have this strong aversion for terms to describe films. I believe in real cinema that also entertains, but I do not believe in entertainment alone that is far-fetched, or real cinema that does not entertain. I don’t like to get into genres. Like films of Imtiaz Ali always defy genres; they are so real yet so entertaining.”

Ask the Imtiaz Ali fan what made him feel that Break Ke Baad was the right subject for his debut and he answers, “Break Ke Baad is a slice-of-life story based in Delhi’s urban milieu, and I could relate to it completely as it was in my space. I too belong to Delhi.” He reveals that when he narrated the story, it took Kunal just 90 seconds to offer to produce the film. “He suggested that I should direct it myself as he felt that I was the right person to work on the subject since it was my story and script,” says Aslam.

Coming to the USP of his film, Aslam feels that all love stories, worldwide, are the same. “But the USP of any romantic film, I feel, is the way its protagonists are written,” he says.
“What stays with you in any love story is your empathy for the characters — Raj and Simran made Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge special. Apart from them, I would not be able to recollect the small details of the film. Aditya and Geet made Jab We Met live on and Jai and Meera made Love Aaj Kal a memorable experience. My characters Abhay and Aaliya will be remembered too.”

Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone, notes Aslam, were his first choices, but Deepika alone was signed. “Deepika agreed instantly to do my film. She plays a focussed, career-minded girl and is completely different from Abhay, the character played by Imran Khan,” he notes, adding that Imran had first turned down the movie.

Role of music

Why was that? “It was because he did not quite like the post-interval portions,” the director replies. “When I was on my 63rd draft and had given up on him with no idea of whom to cast, I met Imran by chance at a party. I told him about the changes I had made in my script and asked him if he would like to listen to the story again. He liked what I had done and he agreed to do my film.” After that, Danish Aslam and Imran Khan realised that they had “about a thousand things in common!” says the filmmaker.

What is the role of music in his film? “It took months for us to work on the music because I was so specific in my needs. My songs are woven into the story. Vishal-Shekhar and Prasoon Joshi understood my requirements perfectly,” he declares. And now, what next? Aslam replies, “I will start working on a couple of ideas I have after a while.”

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