http://www.thefilmstreetjournal.com/2010/11/“i-spent-sleepless-nights-wondering-how-to-break-it-to-shah-rukh”/ November 4, 2010 FARAH KHAN 1 YEAR AFTER BREAKING TIES WITH SHAH RUKH KHAN (Guide: BEFORE YOU READ THIS, FOR THE FULL PICTURE DO READ BETWEEN THE LINES) Undoubtedly, there’s change in the air in every which way. The nameplate once read Farah and Shirish. Now it reads: Czar, Anya, Diva before the original two. Farah Khan, the 2000 updated version of Manmohan Desai, has this fondness for terrace apartments. This one looks like a playpen right now – as boisterous, as blissful as one. Farah promises herself that she must go and see Sanjay Dutt’s babies, they’re still in an incubator. Sanju has recorded a funny five-line narrative at the beginning of Farah’s latest film Tees Maar Khan. And Anil Kapoor has put in a cameo, dancing at the Oscars with the Slumdog children. Tees Maar Khan – Farah’s third film as director. Will it be a hat-trick for commercial cinema’s first outstandingly successful woman director? Tees Maar Khan is also Farah’s first step outside Shah Rukh’s comforting Red Chillies protection. Husband Shirish Kunder and she had to set up their own home banner Three’s Company to make this film. Shirish – in the credits as editor of Farah’s films – turned director with Jaan-e-Maan, a failure. Farah explains how they divided Tees Maar Khan between them: “The story, screenplay and dialogue are his, Shirish had worked on it for two years, his brother Ashmit collaborated with him on the dialogues. When I got the script, I could’ve started shooting from the next week itself, it was that complete with dialogues and camera suggestions, like a tight Hollywood script. Although I lent my name to the company to set it up, he handled the entire production. We had to set up an office, get an EP, accounts crew, office staff, do a recce. Shirish did all of it. “I have always been cost-efficient as a choreographer or director even when I would do films or songs for Red Chillies or Dharma Productions or Ramesh Taurani. On our film, Shirish told me to shut up and ask for what I wanted. I never worried about any of these things which is why we were able to complete the entire movie in just 58 days. It went like clockwork. Left to me, I would have gone over-budget on just the casting while Shirish was clear. ‘You are a big director and they want to be in your movie, so let me deal with them’. He’s been really efficient in keeping it within the budget we had. At the same time it is a big-looking movie. I wanted a train, we got one built for something like `1 crore, we made artificial tracks, a full train that looks real. I wanted it all in that valley in Malshet. I wanted an aeroplane and didn’t want to shoot in one, so we got one made. Whatever I wanted, I got. “Of course I got it all with Shah Rukh too. But with Red Chillies I had to control the cost. I was like the producer while Shah Rukh would go, spend karo, spend karo! “I have shot the film, Shirish is doing the editing, the background score and the title track. He had already done it when he was supposed to direct the film. I really liked the theme track he had composed which comes at various points. I was upfront with Vishal-Shekhar about it and they were very sweet about it. So actually Shirish has done more for Tees Maar Khan than I have. I have only gone out and executed his script.” Then why didn’t he simply direct it himself? (Read between the lines) “Sometimes I feel it has nothing to do with the script. Shirish had no ego about it. We sat down and he said, ‘This script has been lying here for years, I’ve worked on it for two years. You know it is a fab script, a commercial hit film. But nobody wants to make it with me. If you go even with a newspaper cutting, they will say ‘yes’ without bothering to read it’. We were very pragmatic and decided that instead of just sitting and crying over it, I will direct it. He said, ‘I will produce it since nobody else seems to be interested in producing our movies’. It’s not like I went out (of Red Chillies) to some other producer. I did it because it was for our production house. “Now we are rolling. In January 2011, Shirish will make his film Joker, by the end of next year I will make another. We’ve had so much fun producing it ourselves, we’ve also realised that it’s not really rocket science. It will only get better and easier. By producing our own movie we’ve also realised the kind of money we can make (on the table itself). And the company is called Three’s Company which is for our babies.” Tees Maar Khan has been co-produced with Akshay Kumar’s Hari Om production unit. A joint venture so compatible that Joker too will be with Akshay as the leading man and co-producer.