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So Farah, so good

Discussion in 'Happy New Year' started by mumbiene, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. mumbiene

    mumbiene Well-Known Member

    So Farah,so good
    September 13, 2014

      • [​IMG]
        The Happy New Year cast rides up in style
      • [​IMG]
        Farah Khan

    The writer catches up with the feisty Farah Khan ahead of the release of her new heist-cum-musical Happy New Year

    “You better be nice to me in your interview,” she DMs me on Twitter the day after our chat — a quick session when she made it very clear that she wants to slap me or anyone else who thinks her films have no logic.
    Only Farah Khan can get away with making these threats because, apart from the certain honesty with which she makes her points, she also says it like it is her right to talk to a friend that way. Even if you were speaking to her for the very first time, you would be amazed at how quickly she gets comfortable in asserting her right to demand things out of you.
    The director of Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om and Tees Maar Khan is back with a new movie with old favourite Shah Rukh Khan, who she has known for 21 years. “After I finished Main Hoon Na, I got this idea — if you would believe it — in a dream. The dream was about people going through a losing phase getting back a house by winning a dance competition. It had sequences of the dance competition but it was just an idea. I wish we got full scripts in our dreams. I took my own time to write it.”
    In fact, Shah Rukh Khan in a recent interview told me that in all the years he has known Farah, she has only pitched him three scripts. Om Shanti Om happened because the idea of reincarnation set in the 70s was too good to pass up, and then the two best friends fell out over a spat with Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder. Farah stepped in at the last minute to direct Shirish’s pet project Tees Maar Khan, an official remake of After the Fox.
    The film bombed, but ten days later she started writing Happy New Year again, deciding to take a sabbatical from filmmaking till she was done writing it. “I wanted to mix two genres. I don’t think any movie has done this sort of genre-bending – heist and musical – and meshed the two so intricately that you can’t have one without the other. It took almost 18 months to crack the script. I had no clue who would be the producer. I told my writers (Althea Kaushal and Mayur Puri), ‘Let’s just write a lovely script’.”
    They had just finished a draft in nine months when the patch-up with Shah Rukh Khan happened. “And he said ‘now you have to make a movie for me’. He was in London. I sent him the script. He read it and said: ‘Take a flight and come to London immediately’. So I went to his house there and he said it’s an absolutely wonderful script, so big and so funny… It’s got emotion and drama and it’s an ensemble. Without any hesitation, he said: ‘I love it’.”
    Shah Rukh Khan is so proud of Happy New Year that he had joked that Oceans 14 would want to copy this. “Heist is a formula. There is always a mastermind, there’s a safe-hacker, there’s someone for the stunts… just like if you are making a love story, there will always be a girl and a boy and obstacles in the way of their love. But no, Oceans cannot copy Happy New Year because George Clooney can’t dance like SRK,” she says very matter-of-factly.
    “It is the most comprehensive and detailed heist film ever made,” she proclaims. “We have taken a lot of care to make sure there are no loopholes in the execution of the heist…”
    Was that really necessary, given that people leave their brains home when they come to see a Farah Khan film?
    “I want to slap those people. I find it very offensive when people say that. God doesn’t come to rescue people in my films. We do a lot of thinking when we write our scripts.” The accidental choreographer (she was an assistant director on the sets of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander who stepped in to choreograph ‘Pehla Nasha’) had always wanted to be a filmmaker. But it wasn’t Manmohan Desai’s shoes she hoped to fill. “I don’t know why they call me Lady Manmohan Desai. Yes, my cinema is fun too, but I like Vijay Anand and Nasir Hussain more. Manmohan Desai’s films pack a lot of joy and have a child-like quality and you can see the director is having fun, but my movies don’t suspend disbelief that much. But it’s good to be compared to Manmohan Desai. He was run down by critics in his time.”
    Farah is almost a Shah Rukh specialist. She knows what works best with SRK. Is it because she knows him personally or because she has been a fan?
    “As a director and as a woman, I want to see Shah Rukh like this on screen. I don’t want to see him as a wimpy guy. I want to see him macho and romantic. I want him to beat up bad guys and still be without a shirt.” And, of course, the conversation drifts to her getting him to bare his chest yet again. “Because he promised that he will do it only for me.”
    To add to the pressures of breaking box office records, she has seven-year-old triplets at home to take care of (They were much younger when she was shooting Tees Maar Khan). Somehow, they always fall ill during the busiest of shoots and now, she has to teach them all separate poems for an elocution competition in school.
    “I don’t socialise. My social life is minus zero. I hold the record of the mother who has attended the maximum school functions. Luckily, filmmaking is not a nine-to-five job. I get my ten days off in between shoots. And, after every film, I take six months off and go on a holiday. I don’t neglect my kids. They are my priority. They come on shoots. Because they have seen mummy work, they don’t cry. They love my vanity van. It’s all about managing time. Ok, now I have to go, Abhishek Bachchan is waiting for me,” she continues, all in the same breath.
    And she leaves. To attend to the last bit of shoot left, and you can’t help but admire her spirit. And I’m not just saying that because she threatened me.

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