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Aamir Khan: After failures, every minute is spent on finding where we go wrong
Aamir Khan
Images: Aamir Khan Productions FB/X

Aamir Khan: After failures, every minute is spent on finding where we go wrong

| @indiablooms | 20 May 2024, 05:25 pm

Thirtysix years is a long, long time to sustain oneself in the fickle world of Bollywood. Aamir Khan stepped into this world even before the term “Bollywood” became a global buzzword. And he has stayed on, with peaks and craters, accepting them as they came, reinventing, and venturing into producing films he believes in. In a one-to- one with our correspondent Shoma A Chatterji , he opens up on his future plans.

You were in favour of doing one film over three years, mainly as an actor. Are you planning to change that criteria?

I went into a sort of self-induced seclusion after the failure of Laal Singh Chaddha. It turned out to be a phase of long-deserved rest for me and also, to do more films than I did before. In the next ten-twelve years, I want to give back to the industry and to my audience all that I have got from them. I will open the door to new talents. I wish to make more films for youngsters and for children.

Does this mean that you will focus more on production and less on acting?

Yes. My latest production Laapata Ladies directed by Kiran Rao has already got a very positive response though it was relatively a low-budget film. I had nothing to do with the making of the film and did not even attend the shootings. Four more films produced by my production house are in the making right now. Among these are Rajkumar Santoshi’s Lahore 1947, my son Junaid’s film Ek Din, Vir Das directed Happy Patel and Sitaare Zameen Par which is the only film I will also act in. Sitaare Zameen Par is for children and is directed by R.S. Prasanna who had earlier directed Shubha Mangal Saavdhaan.

Let us hear a bit more about Lahore 1947.

Rajkumar Santoshi and I have reunited 30 years after we worked together in Andaz Apna Apna. Sunny Deol is playing the lead in the film which also marks the comeback of Preity Zinta after a long gap. Rajkumar Santoshi has roped in A.R. Rahman for the music and also Javed Akhtar. Shabana Azmi is also playing a very significant role in this film. The story revolves around her character. Abhimanyu Singh will be the villain in the film. I have visited the sets only once as I totally depend on my directors and actors to put in their best.

Images: Aamir Khan Productions FB/XImages: Aamir Khan Productions FB/X

Are you dividing your work between production and acting to maintain a good balance that will sustain the label of Mr. Perfectionist you are known for?

(Smiles). That label has been slapped on me by you and not me. I will stick to acting in one film a year and am handing over very tempting roles to other actors. The label of “Mr. Perfectionist’ is a label which you can take away if you feel my balancing between acting and directing is not going down well.

Doesn’t the film’s commercial success or failure affect you?

No, it doesn’t. This is because I take a long time to decide which film I will hand over to which director and once that decision is made, I leave everything entirely to the director. I do not bother about whether the film will be a hit or a flop. The film must be good and the audience must come out with some “wah wahs” and that will make my day.

Then why did you go into complete seclusion when Laal Singh Chaddha turned out to be a flop?

I do not allow my failures to depress me even for a minute. I have not allowed my failures to put me down in any way. I try to wring out every little bit that I try to find out that made the film fail and this has been my way with every film of mine that has failed to lure the audience into the theatres.

Every minute is spent on trying to find out where we go wrong, every little bit is put under my mental scanner so that such mistakes are not repeated in my films in the future. Maybe, this will also open me up to make new mistakes, who knows? (Smiles).

Images: Aamir Khan Productions FB/XImages: Aamir Khan Productions FB/X

Do you keep yourself open to both failures and triumphs?

Of course, I do. If you have a career as long as mine, you must be equally open to both failures and triumphs. Each has a thousand reasons that lead up to it and may be, these are beyond anyone’s control. But we must pay close attention to see that there are no lapses in the quality of the final product as a result of our own lapses.

You directed Taare Zameen Par and that remains your sole directorial effort in films. Have you decided never to direct again?

Of course, I have an intense desire to direct films again. But not right now. I have decided that once I get back into directing films, I will give up acting for good. It will be difficult for me to slip out of the directorial mode and slip into the acting mode.

We hear about a sequel in the making of Andaz Apna Apna after 30 years. Is this correct?.

Yes, that is correct. But the ball is entirely in Raj Kumar Santoshi’s court. I am told he is busy writing the script. Beyond this, I know nothing.

Images: Aamir Khan Productions FB/XImages: Aamir Khan Productions FB/X

Big Bollywood stars are now appearing together as hero and cameo in several films like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. What about you?

Yes, yes, I have noticed this trend. I have been in talks with both Salman and Shahrukh on this subject recently. We unanimously decided that we can easily work together in a single film even in cameo roles with one of us portraying the hero.

While all your peers are jumping into action films in a big way, why have you remained beyond this periphery?

My aim is to make films that make me think before, during and after the film has been made. This is the reason I decided to come into producing my own films. If I take my script to a producer and tell him I want to make a children’s film, in this crowd of dynamic action films, he will certainly decide I am crazy. So, I produce my own films. Period.


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