'You can't direct a film if you're not into writing'

'You can't direct a film if you're not into writing'

Bollywood director Mohit Suri is best known for movies like Kalyug, Murder, Aashiqui 2 and Ek Villian. All these movies were commercial hits, but what made them stands out was their music that topped charts at one time. Continuing his tryst with music, Suri has co-launched the band Mango Beats with their single Akhaan. In a conversation with Metrolife, the 35-year-old shares more about this venture, his love for music and future projects. Read on…

You launch a new voice in most of your films. Why so?

I was subconsciously doing this. I believe it was my need as it always keeps my music relative, and contemporary.

What is different about Mango Beats?
Well, I think it’s their sound that is hybrid. We are culturally connected to soulful Punjabi music. They will present it as today’s music. They have a sound that is very international. The blend between the East and the West is what I think will make Mango Beats stand out.
 
All songs from your films have topped charts at one time. How important are songs in a movie?
How can I take away the contribution of music in my life? I’ve never worked with big stars, but the musicians, singers and lyricists with whom I’ve worked with have been the stars of my life. I have consistently worked with new music directors and they are the ones who have made my film successful. I, of all people, can vouch that if I am successful today, and wherever I am today, is because of my music and the people who’ve contributed to that.
 
How has your journey in Bollywood been?
I’ve never really looked back to see how my journey has been. Sometimes when these questions are asked I realise that I’m just 11-films old. At my age, many people start their career as a director. So, I haven’t really looked back and thought about it. I’ve just taken each film as it comes and today I am going ahead and producing my first film. I’ve made some good films and I’ve made some bad films and step by step I’ve reached where I am now. But I still feel like I’ve not begun. I still feel butterflies in my stomach. I’m still learning and can’t stop it.

Which is your favourite piece of work?
I like bits of people here and there, but I feel my film is like a first kiss, a first love; you can never get over that. Aashiqui 2 holds a close space near my heart. I was competing with music of 1990’s Aashiqui. However, we managed to have a very different music. And with the movie, I realised that one is not remembered for what you take from the industry but what you give, and Aashiqui 2 gave a lot to this industry.
 
What do you prefer — story writing or direction?
I find it difficult to disconnect from both. I believe that you cannot direct a good film if you’re not somewhere to writing. It’s like music and lyrics, the tune can be really good but if the lyrics don’t complement the tune then you’ll never have a good song. So I guess these two things are very difficult to disassociate.
 
An actor you wish to work with?
No, I don’t have those kinds of inspirations. I’ve never felt that there is anyone in particular I want to work with or feel will change my destiny or my course of what I can achieve in life. When I see a movie that I really like, I ask myself why I didn’t think of this idea. Those have been more inviting to me.
 
Since the time you started, how has Bollywood evolved?
I think it’s grown in a huge way. Ideas have become older, thoughts have become bigger, ideation has become stronger and not just budgets and stars. I remember how my first film started with only 200 screens and now I use 2,500 screens.
 
Rumours are that you will be directing a movie starring Shahid’s brother and Saif’s daughter? Is it true?
I can’t confirm this at the moment. We are looking to cast newcomers for sure but beyond that I can’t talk about it now.

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