Big Fascination

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Feb 2018 10:16:07


From his debut film Cheeni Kum to his upcoming film Pad Man, R Balki has maintained one common element in all his directorial ventures -- and that is the presence of Amitabh Bachchan. The filmmaker says the whole nation is obsessed with the megastar and he is just a part of it.

Balki has explored various sides of Amitabh’s acting talent in all his films -- be it through telling a love story between a 64-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman in Cheeni Kum, or a tale of a 12-year-old progeria patient in Paa, or showing the dark side of showbiz with Big B as a failed actor and drunkard in Shamitabh.
Balki got Big B to make cameo appearances in English Vinglish and Ki & Ka.

Asked whether he is obsessed with Big B, Balki told IANS, “I am not obsessed with Amitabh Bachchan... the nation is; I am just a part of the nation.”
He continued, “Let me tell you, even in this film (Pad Man) Mr. Bachchan is playing an important role. Yes, it is a cameo, but once you watch the film, (you) will understand the relevance of his presence in that moment of the story. I know people said that I keep bringing him in my film somewhere, but all those moments are crucial in the story. If we talk about Ki & Ka, the conversation between Mr Bachchan and Jayaji, was crucial, that is also one side of the main topic of the film, that added a perspective.”

Asked if, given his advertising background, it is easier for him to tell a story that amalgamates the value of brand and entertainment, he shared how the length of the story makes all the difference.

“You might just find an ad film boring if I take 20 seconds extra to tell a story elaborately. On the other hand, there is a time when the audience could find things are happening too fast in a feature film. But that is how it is, depends on the format,” he explained.

R Balki, who has made films with top stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Akshay Kumar, says filmmaking should be an ego-less process.
In an interview, Balki opens up about how easy it is to be working with stars provided the communication is clear and both the director and actor are open to accept and reject each other’s suggestion.

“In filmmaking, you can’t have ego, everyone is a labourer. Suggestions can come from anywhere. You take if need be or don’t - regardless of who is giving. If you have that simple healthy communication with them, why will stars have an issue?”

The general perception is that it is difficult to handle stars as they come with their own whims but the director begs to differ. “I look at stars as creative people. Of course, I know the value of Akshay Kumar, he draws in 90 per cent of the audience. That means he has the ability. Where people might have issues is when they say ‘he is behaving like a star, not understanding my script’.

“I believe stars are as good — if not better — creative people as you are. They understand your script, their stardom and box office as well as you do. It’s your job to not lose out on anything that they’re trying to say. It’s also your job to tell them ‘hey this won’t work’.”