EXCLUSIVE: ‘Akshay sir & Salman bhai don’t have to prove anything’: Aanand L Rai on Raksha Bandhan & more

Aanand L Rai believes that nobody but Akshay Kumar was apt for the lead role in Raksha Bandhan. Says, he is a fan of Sooraj Barjatya films and the industry needs to make more family dramas. Details

Himesh Mankad
Written by Himesh Mankad , Journalist
Updated on Aug 08, 2022 | 05:05 AM IST | 353.5K
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Akshay sir & Salman bhai don’t have to prove anything’: Aanand L Rai on Raksha Bandhan & more
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Akshay sir & Salman bhai don’t have to prove anything’: Aanand L Rai on Raksha Bandhan & more

Aanand L Rai made his directorial debut in 2007 with Strangers and followed it up with films like Tanu Weds Manu, Raanjhana, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Zero and Atrangi Re. In the 15 year of his career as a director, the filmmaker is gearing up for what he terms the most special project till date, Raksha Bandhan with Akshay Kumar. “In 2007, a few people noticed the director in me, but the journey actually started in 1993/1994, when I first came to Mumbai. It has been a good 30 years of being invested in stories, trying to tell what’s in the heart,” he says, adding further, “It has been beautiful and I have been enjoying it. I have enjoyed my struggle, as those were the beautiful days of learning.”

Aanand insists that the biggest learning through these years is to stay honest. He explains, “I have learnt to be true to myself. Be honest to the stories. It has been a learning to not get distracted by numbers but give 100 percent to all that I work on. It’s important to learn from both success and failure. Moving ahead is important, and that’s what I have learnt.”  The director came across the idea of making Raksha Bandhan while working on his most complicated subject till date, Atrangi Re. “In the pandemic, Himanshu (Sharma) and I realised how important is family for everyone. And that’s when we decided to come up with a story as basic as Raksha Bandhan.”

A self-confessed fan of Rajshri cinema, Aanand L Rai believes that there is a void of family drama’s in Hindi Film Industry. “As a fan, I remember watching Sooraj Barjatya films. I watch them even today on television, such is the beauty of this genre. It’s been a while since we are not catering such stuff to our audience.  This genre was our staple diet and we left the staple diet for all the fancy stuff around. These kinds of films have to be there at regular times,” he exults.


Casting of Raksha Bandhan seems to be a match in heaven, with Akshay fitting the role to T. Aanand L Rai believes that very few actors can blend themselves into the world of family dramas. “We needed an actor who is very self-assured, somebody who is very easy with himself to get into a zone as simple as this. Akshay sir and Salman bhai don’t have to prove anything to anybody and that’s very important for a film in this zone. As for Rakshan Bandhan, it’s a very emotional, sensitive and selfless character and I think, nobody, but Akshay sir was apt for it,” he smiles.

Aanand L rai concludes thinking that the Hindi Filmmakers have evolved but the audience is still learning and evolving by the day. “My evolution will make sense only if I am able to evolve my audience with me. I learnt a lot while making Raksha Bandhan and now, I need to see if I am able to communicate that to my audience. The reason for this genre to take a backseat is because we got evolved but without taking our audience along with us,” he signs off.


Raksha Bandhan is slated to release on August 11.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: 'Jr. NTR sir is a legend, waiting to work with him' : Janhvi Kapoor on her Tollywood Debut

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