After delivering hits like Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, Deewangee, No Entry, Welcome, Sing Is King, Ready and Welcome Back to name a few, Anees Bazmee returns as a director with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. The film got off to a good start at the box office earning audiences’ appreciation, suggesting that Anees Bazmee’s cinema can never go out of style. The filmmaker had a frank conversation with Pinkvilla. Excerpts from an interview:
From a romantic comedy to a family comedy, a youth comedy and now a horror comedy – how does your approach to humor change for the different areas of entertainment?
Your approach must change for each film. The camera work in Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha was fluid, as it was a beautiful, simple love story with a bit of humor. In Deewangee I used shakes in my camera to set the mood. Now Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a horror comedy, so I went back to when my grandma used to tell us horror stories. I was never scared when she told these stories to a group of people, but when I was alone they freaked me out. He says we have to create the right atmosphere in a horror movie. For Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, I tried to create an environment where people are laughing and also scared. It’s a new world for me and I hope people enjoy it.
You were working on several scripts during the pandemic, I’m sure most would be comedies. Was it a distraction from the real world?
I wanted to write a comedy about the pandemic, but it ended up being a romantic movie. In the 2000s, Akshay Kumar Ji called me after watching Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha. He asked me to write a screenplay for him and I tried to do a romantic film. Very few know that Welcome started out as a love story back then. But as the writing progressed, it turned out to be a comedy. The story lent itself to all of these quirky characters, even though it was basically a love story between 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 satisfied that the comic genre is finally recognized by all?
I was Raj Kapoor Saab’s assistant and I always believed in making well-made films. There was a notion in the industry that the success of comedies depended on the actors’ comedic timing. Yes, it’s important, but I’ve always wondered why you can’t make a film where the situation makes you laugh. I’ve always wanted to make films that stand the test of time. Comedies look easy on screen, but they’re hard to pull off. If it was an easy genre, everyone would do it. No genre has such a good lifespan as a comedy.
And what makes comedy difficult?
Each genre as a story to tell, has a concrete path that leads to the finale. But a comedy? The gags cannot be put together. Comedy is about execution. What is the story of No Entry and Welcome? Both tackle a serious issue – one about extramarital affairs and the other about gangsters. But the execution led to humor.
Do numbers make a difference to you as a director?
I’m very bad with numbers, but I like when my films make a lot of money. I make commercial films and it’s important that these films make money. But the money doesn’t get to me as a director. I want my producers to recoup their investment and the audience to be entertained. I’m not insecure and I’m 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’m happy with 5 to 10 more films and please the public. I have kept my needs under control and as a result I can afford to say no to people.
A reunion with Kartik Aaryan after Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2?
Nothing for the moment. Kartik is a very nice boy and I would like to work with him in the future. But after Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, I will focus entirely on No Entry Mein Entry.
And what happens on the writing front. We hear, are you also working on F2 for Boney Kapoor?
Yes, I’m writing the F2 remake for Boney Ji. It’s a great movie, but I felt the need to make a lot of changes to the original script. So it’s done.
Read also| ‘My neighbor is No Entry Mein Entry; Salman Khan loved the script’: Anees Bazmee confirms No Entry 2