Prolific filmmaker Hansal Mehta is the man of the hour, he has a Midas touch and everything that he touches seems to be turning into gold.
This year began on a perfect note for the director Hansal Mehta as his show Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story has garnered appreciation from fans and critics, and now his latest release on Amazon Prime Video Chhalaang starring Rajkummar Rao and Nushrat Bharucha is being lauded.
Hansal and Rajkummar Rao's collaboration have always been powerful, and together they never fail to spell magic on-screen.
Hansal and Raj have reunited for four films/ shows in the past. Some of their best work together as a team are CityLights, Aligarh, Omerta, till Bose/ Dead or Alive (web show). Undoubtedly, Raj is one of the finest actors we have in B-town as he moulds himself in every given role that he portrays. This is exactly what happened in Chhalaang, fans are in awe of Rajkummar in hilarious, yet an inspirational journey of Montu, a PT Master from a semi government-funded school.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India ace film director, producer Hansal Mehta spoke in length about his recently released film Chhalaang, his collaboration with Rajkummar Rao, future of OTT and why he doesn't watch television and more.
Excerpts from the interview.
On taking Rajkummar for Chhalaang
I don't have any parameters on which I select an actor. As far as Rajkummar is concerned, I didn't want him to play repetitive characters. Every character that he has portrayed has been different in some way or the other. Chhalaang is a fun film and is based out in Haryana and Raj belongs to that place, so its easier for an actor to adapt to the given environment and world. But I must say it was challenging, and I am glad Chhalaang in some way has made people smile in these difficult times.
On working with Luv Ranjan
I believe that the subject should entertain you. And now with the theatres not functioning in full capacity, the audiences are confined to the home and providing them with entertainment should be our motto. I wanted to work with Luv because as a writer, he has a great understanding of the audience and also the subject of Chhalaang resonated with me.
Theatres have opened partially but haven't picked up that well, as a filmmaker are you reluctant to release your film in theatre?
I see that OTT has widened the 'Plainfield'. The sheer experience of watching a film in a theatre is irreplaceable and absolutely what cinema was designed. Having said the OTT has a wider number of stories, has a different outlet for exhibitors. I am sure once the theatre's open full-fledged people will start flocking. The cinema will boom, and so will their alternate stream will flourish on the OTT. Initially, I have suffered making films that should have ideally been an OTT release due to lack of storytelling. I am glad that we have one more medium of storytelling.
Has GEC's lost its charm with the growth of OTT?
No, all I can say is with the penetration of OTT and mass availability of data plans if you collectively compare the viewership there is a massive gap. The concept of entertainment is getting redesigned. The news has become entertainment and has become all about numbers. Well, I am not a television person. I don't have a TV at home and haven't seen TV for a very long time. The only thing I watch is cricket.