INTERVIEW: Anees Bazmee on his idea of making comedy films, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, success, F2, No Entry & more
I don’t want to make 100 films, I am happy with 5 to 10 more films and make the audience happy. I have kept my needs in check and hence, I can afford to say no to people, says Anees Bazmee
After delivering hits like Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, Deewangee, No Entry, Welcome, Sing Is King, Ready and Welcome Back to name some, Anees Bazmee returns as a director with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. The film has taken a solid start at the box office winning appreciation from the audience, suggesting that Anees Bazmee cinema can never go out of fashion. The filmmaker got into a candid conversation with Pinkvilla. Excerpts from an interview:
From a romantic comedy to a family comedy, youthful comedy and now a horror comedy – how does your approach to humour change for different zones of entertainment?
Your approach needs to change for every film. The camera work in Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha was smooth, as it was a simple beautiful love story with some humour. In Deewangee, I used jerks in my camera to create the ambience. Now, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a horror comedy, so I went back to the days when my grandmother used to tell us horror stories. I was never scared when she told those stories to a group of people, but when I was alone, they freaked me out. It says that we need to create the right ambience in a horror film. For Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, I have tried to create an environment where people laugh and also get scared. It’s a new world for me and I hope people like it.
You were working on multiple scripts through the pandemic, am sure, most would be comedies. Was that a distraction from the real world?
I wanted to write a comedy in the pandemic, but it eventually turned out to be a romantic film. Back in the 2000s, Akshay Kumar Ji called me after watching Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha. He asked me to write a script for him, and I attempted to make a romantic film. Very few know that Welcome started off as a love story back in the day. But as the writing progressed, it turned out to be a comedy. The story lent itself to all those quirky characters, though it was essentially a love story of Rajiv and Sajana. I can’t disrupt my flow as a writer. My process is to enter the tunnel, but then, I don’t know how the tunnel ends.
Are you happy with the fact that the comic genre is finally being recognised by one and all?
I was an assistant to Raj Kapoor saab and I always believed in making well made films. There was a notion in the industry that success of comedies depends on comic timing of actors. Yes, that is important, but I always wondered why we can’t make a film where the situation leads to laughter. I always wanted to make films that stood the test of times. Comedies look easy on screen, but they are difficult to make. If this was an easy genre, everyone would be making it. No genre has a shelf life as good as a comedy.
And what makes comedy difficult?
Every genre as a story to say, has a concrete path that leads to the finale. But a comedy? One wouldn’t know how to assemble the gags. Comedy is about execution. What story did No Entry and Welcome have? Both of them tackle a serious issue – one about extramarital affairs and other about gangsters. But the execution led to humor.
Do numbers make a difference to you as a director?
I am very bad with numbers, but I like it when my films earn good money. I make commercial films and it's important for these films to make money. But the money doesn’t ride me as a director. I want my producers to recover their investment and the audience to get their entertainment. I am not insecure and I am not in the race to make money. I don’t want to run, I just want to walk. I don’t want to make 100 films, I am happy with 5 to 10 more films and make the audience happy. I have kept my needs in check and hence, I can afford to say no to people.
Any reunion with Kartik Aaryan after Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2?
Nothing as of now. Kartik is a very nice boy and I would love to work with him in the future. But after Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, my entire focus will be on No Entry Mein Entry.
And what’s happening on the writing front. We hear, you are also working on F2 for Boney Kapoor?
Yes, I am writing the F2 remake for Boney Ji. It’s a great film, but I felt the need to make a lot of changes in the original script. So that’s done.