He admits women-centric films are his forte but Madhur Bhandarkar doesn't want to stick to one genre. After a comedy, the filmmaker now wants to direct an intense love story.
"I am a great admirer of Raj Khosla and Vijay Anand. Can you believe the same director who made 'Guide' also made 'Jewel Thief'. I'd like to be known for all genres," said Bhandarkar.
"I want to make an intense love story like 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye'. I also want to make a thriller like 'Teesri Manzil'. But, yes, hard-hitting women-centric cinema is my forte," added Bhandarkar, who has ventured into comedy with "Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji".
His impressive oeuvre of women-centric films include critically acclaimed movies like "Chandni Bar", "Page 3" and "Satta".
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You've hopped genres with "Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji"? At a time when female-centric films like "No One Killed Jessica" are doing well why the change to male-centric cinema?
A: I like to surprise everyone including myself. It's not easy when you move out of your comfort zone. Firstly, I was not making a chick flick. This is a boys' film. People close to me know I've a good sense of humour. In fact, all my actors Bipasha Basu, Konkona Sen Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Tabu... they all said, 'Madhur tu kitna hansata hai'. So I thought, why not a comedy? But I never thought it'd be so difficult.
I wanted to go back to the comedies of Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. My aim for comedy was not Rohit Shetty's "Golmaal" but Hrishida's "Golmaal".
Q: Is it true that you were supposed to make a film on Jessica Lal?
A: Yes, I was going to make a film on Jessica Lal. In fact, I had told UTV's Ronnie Screwvala that I liked the idea of making a film on the Jessica Lal case. I had registered the title "Jessica" after my film "Satta". If you
remember in that film Raveena Tandon's husband played by Sameer Dharamadhikari had shot a bar girl in the film. He shoots the girl when she says 'Bar band hai'.
I saw "No One Killed Jessica". Rajkumar Gupta has done a fine job. I had liked his "Aamir" too. It's very well performed and shot. So the case rests there. Every day as a filmmaker you come up with a new idea.
Q: What next for Madhur?
A: I am a great admirer of Raj Khosla and Vijay Anand. Can you believe the same director who made "Guide" also made "Jewel Thief". I'd like to be known for all genres. I want to make an intense love story like "Ek Duuje Ke Liye". I also want to make a thriller like "Teesri Manzil". But, yes, hard-hitting women-centric cinema is my forte.
Q: You are a huge fan of Gulzar, aren't you?
A: Oh yes I'm hugely influenced by the cinema of Gulzar saab. I consider it a big compliment when people refer to me as a new-age Gulzar. I know each and every film and lyric that he has written by heart. In "Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji" even the title is a tribute to Gulzar saab.
I acquired the rights of Gulzar saab's song "Koi hota jisko apna" from "Mere Apne" and used it in "Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji". It's one of my favourite songs written by Gulzar saab. 'Aur kya composition kiya hai Salil Chowdhary ne!' It would be criminal to change the track in any way. I've used it in the original form. Who can sing like Kishore da today?