Ghosh: Wild imagination

NEW- AGE FILMMAKER

Creator of ‘Quick Gun Murugan’ — both the character and the film — he opens up on the film and his sensibilities. Excerpts from an interview:

Why ‘Quick Gun Murugan’? Why not ‘Rascalaa Mind It’? A rose by any other name...

The original character from ‘94 was Quick Gun Murugan; and Rascalaa was a tribute to the same character. When even Shah Rukh Khan is paying tribute to Quick Gun, where is the question of calling my film Rascalla? A thorn by any other name is bound to deliver a prick. Impact, I mean.

Did you ever dream of asking SRK to do the film? Or Aamir Khan after ‘Ghajini’?

No to the first, and Quick Gun... was shot before Ghajini, but I confess that I did want to meet Aamir for the role.  

So was Aamir Khan’s recent lavish praise for the film because he wished he had starred in QGM, or he wants to do the sequel — or at least a film with you?

None of these.

Why was this not ‘shot’ before your 2003 debut film ‘Waisa Bhi Hota Hai — Part 2’?

There were no producers brave enough to try this film with a filmmaker who had not made a film before. I think the fact that I had done WBHH — Part 2 helped people gain some confidence in this project.

To use a line from a recent potboiler, you fixed the Fox — Fox-Star, that is. Will they be shrewd enough to fund your next film in which you will laugh at Hollywood and European noir cinema?

Phat Phish and Fox-Star need to be asked that very pertinent question. According to me, yes of course.

But you have already announced a sequel.

I am working on one. It will take Murugan to the actual Wild West for a full-on cowboy Western.

You spoofed the Wild West, Bollywood — in particular the films ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan’ and ‘Sholay’, and the song ‘Rukmani’ from ‘Roja’, South Indian films etc. Name three things you wanted to spoof and did not because... well, because of what?

Gone With The Wind because I did not have the budget, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron as it was too North-focussed and Deshdrohi since I haven’t watched it!

What made you think of  Rajendra Prasad only and no one else?

Dr Rajendra Prasad was my producer Anand’s idea. I believe every film is a combined vision of both the producer and director. When the meeting with Dr Prasad went off well, he was on.

Whose brilliant idea was it to focus on a vegetarian-non-vegetarian conflict?

Rajesh Devraj, my writer’s. 

Rice-Plate Reddy, Mango Dolly, Curry Westerns — are you a non-vegetarian or are you chicken about killing animals?

I am a wannabe vegetarian and I am chicken about killing animals.

Why Rambha as Mango Dolly?

Who else could be virtuous and vamp-like in the same breath?

Your first film gave us Kailash Kher and Shibani Kashyap. There appear to be no gifts from ‘QGM’, apart from Dr Prasad, who cannot become a Hindi film regular.

What are you saying? I have given a cowboy, a non-vegetarian villain, a virtuous vamp, a lover locked forever in a locket, a twisted and cute MBA, a smoking-hot bad man and a guardian angel. Then there is singer Geeta John and Ankur, who wrote the coolest lyrics.
As a filmmaker, are you stuck with the Murugan brand?

I am also planning three more films — a thriller, a fake documentary and a culture-crime comedy.

Rajesh Devraj, Lola Kutty, Shashanka Ghosh himself — the MTV-Channel [V] influence — how deeply will it affect your new projects?

I’d say quite deeply.

Do you love or hate classic Hindi films?

I like them.

Do you love or hate today’s films? Where do you think they are going?

I think they are getting better and better.

Your first film did not do well, so why choose such a time and release QGM among a glut of movies and affect its business too? How does it feel to be critically-acclaimed but not get sufficient footfalls because of lack of awareness?

I think that both films suffered from a lack of will to try out a new product. Maybe we did not push it correctly, I do not know. I do know that watching the film was a rewarding experience and people were howling in laughter in both the English and Hindi versions. And the first weekend showed a huge jump in ticket sales resulting from word-of-mouth, I guess. I think the language versions needed a different approach in pushing.

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