Learnt not to take audience for granted: Aditya Datt

Learnt not to take audience for granted: Aditya Datt

The director’s latest film ‘Commando 3’ has been having a good run at the box office

He entered Bollywood with a bang with the Emraan Hashmi and Tanushree Dutta hit ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ in 2005. Director Aditya Datt’s next few projects failed to make a mark at the box office before he redeemed himself somewhat with the socially relevant ‘Table No 21’; he now has the experience of different genres like crime thrillers, romance and drama. 

Datt entered the digital space with ‘Karenjit Kaur’, the biopic of Sunny Leone, which received critical and commercial acclaim. His latest offering is ‘Commando 3’, the most successful film in the franchise series.

Datt is veteran lyricist Anand Bakshi’s grandson and has earlier talked about how he received support from his grandfather and father when he announced his decision to discontinue his studies after class 10 to enter the film industry. Metrolife spoke to the filmmaker about his journey till now.

Why was there a big gap between your last release and ‘Commando 3’?

After ‘Table No 21’, I was waiting to tell a better story or do something that helps me grow as a filmmaker. It was during this time that I was offered ZEE5’s flagship show ‘Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone’. Since it was a biopic and had a very sensitive story, I was invested in it for a long period of time (I shot all three seasons). Towards the end of it, I was offered ‘Commando 3’, which excited me as it was a different genre to explore. So though there has been a gap in films, the whole point is to tell stories in whatever medium.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a film director?

The art of engaging people and keeping them invested in the characters. As a director, if I succeed in taking my audience along in the journey of my characters, half the battle is won. The rest depends on how new the journey of those characters is.

Why this fascination with Hollywood remakes?

Many filmmakers remake successful foreign-language films. It comes with the safety of a tested success formula, but some make these films because they were truly inspired by the stories and wanted to retell them for the Indian audience.

A lesson you have learned after coming to the industry?

I achieved box office success with my first feature film (Aashiq Banaya Aapne) even though I wasn’t happy with my own work. So I took the audience for granted. But my next three films were duds and then I had to pull up my socks and put in an effort to improve my craft. After that, I again tasted success with ‘Table No 21’. So the only thing I have learned is not to take an opportunity and the audience for granted.

Which filmmaker has influenced you the most?

Mukul Anand, for the larger-than-life situations that he created on screen, and Hrishikesh Mukerjee, for showing real-life beautifully in cinema.

Future projects?

I will be helming a web series again soon, as I love the long format. When it comes to films, I am waiting for a story that excites me; there are many projects in discussion though none on the floor yet.

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