Director: Badhaai Ho is inspired by my life

Amit Sharma’s feature film has joined the Rs 100 crore club.

The cast of Badhaai Ho with Amit Sharma (fourth from left).

Amit Sharma was 18-years-old when he joined as an assistant director for Pradeep Sarkar. It didn’t take him too long to realise that direction is what he was meant to do.

Thanks to his eye for detail, he became the co-founder of a production house, Chrome Pictures, one of the top ad production houses in the country.
So far, Amit has directed over 1,200 commercials, including for brands like Google, Amazon, Cadbury and Samsung, to name a few. But his latest venture is a feature film, Bollywood, to be precise, that’s garnering him a lot of success. Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao, has joined the 100 crore club since its release in November.

In a tete-a-tete with Anila Kurian, Amit talks about what it’s like to become a feature director and the success of the film.

What was your initial approach to making Badhaai Ho? 

I was approached by Akshat and Shantanu (writers of the film) in 2015 with a one-line idea of the film. I loved it at one go and decided along with my partners to produce it as well, as the first feature of Chrome Pictures.Thereafter, we collaborated with Junglee Pictures. We wanted to stay rooted and real, so there come our own experiences of life in the film. 

Are there any personal references in the film? 

My grandmother and great-grandmother were pregnant at the same time. So what you see in the film has been a part of my family story too.

The character of Dadi in the film is exactly how my grandmother was. Also, since I am from Delhi, I understand this kind of milieu very well.

Badhaai Ho broke the record of Baahubali 2, one of the greatest hits this year. Did you expect this kind of success?

The success of the film feels magical to me! I am humbled and deeply indebted to the audience and fraternity for giving me this experience. Also, the film being Chrome Pictures’s first feature venture and setting a benchmark to be the first ad production house to cross 200 crore mark is like living a dream.

Do you believe that a good script can make a box office hit or does it have to a commercial film? 

I have always strongly believed in scripts. It is the foundation of any project. All the money and hard work go into making that into a reality; it’s pointless to work on something which is half-hearted or not good. 

What are the other projects you’re busy with? 

I’m working on a feature film that tells the story of India’s greatest football coach, Syed Abdul Rahim. Ajay Devgan is playing the role of the coach.

Tell us about some the similarities between the ad world and the cinema world.

The essence of both the platforms is to tell stories. Advertising helped me hone my skills as a director. There is a pressure to tell a story in 30 seconds and you can’t compromise on anything. So you explore every possibility to put your point across. This really helps in detailing while working on a feature. Shooting formats are the same. We shoot non-linear in ads and features. I believe in conveying the emotion of the film, and if I have succeeded in that then I am content with my work.

When you’re not busy with work, what do you enjoy doing? 

I like to laze around and play with my Son, Rosh. It could vary in activities like an outdoor sport, playing video games or travelling.You might even find me playing cricket and squash. If you hang out a little longer, you will get to taste some good mutton.

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Director: Badhaai Ho is inspired by my life

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