INTERVIEW: Aanand L Rai on Atrangi Re, gauging OTT success & more: ‘I was selling my most complicated story’

Aanand L Rai get's in a candid chat with Pinkvilla to discuss Atrangi Re, success, failure and lot more. Read more

Updated on Jan 26, 2022  |  02:48 AM IST |  253.9K
INTERVIEW: Aanand L Rai on Atrangi Re, gauging OTT success & more: ‘I was selling my most complicated story’
INTERVIEW: Aanand L Rai on Atrangi Re, gauging OTT success & more: ‘I was selling my most complicated story’

On December 24, Aanand L Rai’s directorial, Atrangi Re, with Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar premiered on the digital world and the content sparked multiple conversations on social media. Within the weekend, there were conversations around the film’s success. This was Aanand L Rai’s first to premiere on the digital world, as he is conventionally known to curate content for the big screen. How did he absorb the reactions?

“It was very difficult for all of us to understand that there’s another medium called OTT for the premiere of films. On this platform, you are a little lost in your initial days. As a director, I always gauge the success of a film by sensing the emotion of the audience – if the content has reached them or not. For theatrical mediums, you can sense that emotion by Saturday, but on OTT, it takes a week or ten days. It’s a different exercise, but I am glad that Atrangi has touched the right chord of emotions,” a relaxed Aanand L Rai told Pinkvilla before taking off to London to kick off the shoot of his production, Action Hero.

He goes ahead to explain that content should spark discussions and that has happened with Atrangi Re. “You meet people and realize that they are talking about your characters. Love is something you can’t hide, you can sense and feel it in the air,” he smiles adding further that the core intent of any story teller is to emotionally connect with his target audience. “Not just in India, but that’s the case globally,” he asserts, quick to add, “As Indians, we are extra sensitive, and we enjoy talking about it. There was a time when we were known as a country with so many joint families, but by the day, we have also gone nuclear. But yet, there is an aspiration towards joint families. This land is all about relationships and as a storyteller, you have to hold a string of relationships. There are so many stories in our roots and we just have to pick and start telling them."

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He describes Atrangi Re as the most complicated story of his career. When asked about the idea of taking an unconventional route after Zero, which failed to strike a chord with the audience, the director explains, “I was selling my most complicated story and I wanted to go for it. I knew that the layering could uproot me, but I was in a position to take that. The strength of taking the risk was given by my audience after Tanu Weds Manu, Raanjhanaa, Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Zero. They made me gutsy and fearless.”

Stay tuned to Pinkvilla, as the second part of this interview goes live soon.

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