I never closed shop: Ketan Desai (Interview)
Mumbai, Nov 6 (IANS) The late producer-director Manmohan Desai entertained movie buffs with masala films like ‘Naseeb’, ‘Coolie’ and ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. Now his banner will see an image makeover under his son Ketan Desai who is back from a long sabbatical to make two thrillers.
‘When people ask, ‘When are you reviving your banner (MKD Films)?’ I just want to say that I never shut my banner. I never closed shop. My staff has been with me all the while. I just took a break,’ Desai, who directed the films ‘Allah Rakha’ and ‘Toofan’, told IANS in an interview.
His last directorial work ‘Anmol’ was released in 1993 and production venture was the 2002 movie ‘Ye Hai Jalwa’.
‘I wanted to do a film because I want to do it, not because I have to do it. That is why I took a sabbatical and now I’m back. I’m planning to direct myself, I’m also planning that once a film takes off, I will get in fresh talent. Get people to direct and slowly get into the groove,’ he said.
‘I got a contract to establish a film studio in Dubai. I was busy doing that but when one of the partners pulled out, I came back.’
At the moment Desai, who is the son-in-law of yesteryear actor Shammi Kapoor, has locked two films.
‘I have locked two scripts and I have almost finished the screenplay of both. Now we are going into dialogues. By mid-November I will decide which script to take first and then will decide on the star cast,’ he said.
While one script is a supernatural thriller, the other is a political film.
‘Today you can’t stretch a film for more than two hours because people’s patience and attention span is less. In a thriller, the pace keeps you going. Today what has happened is that if your film is slightly boring or slow, it loses on the very first day itself.
‘So you have to keep audiences on the edge of the seat. You have to draw their attention. So I want to start with a thriller and then get going with every other genre,’ said Desai.
He is also planning to foray into television as well as Marathi cinema.
‘Apart from Hindi movies, I’m also in the process of starting a Marathi division. I will make films in Marathi language,’ he said.
‘Television is also in the realm of affairs. I’ve probed the market; you have such good technicians, writers, poets here. I will take a concept that is new because this is time to change. Once we get a foothold in television I would like to get into reality shows as well,’ he added.
Manmohan Desai was known for his family-centred, action-song-and-dance hits like ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Parvarish’, ‘Suhaag’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Desh Premee’, ‘Coolie’, ‘Mard’, ‘Dharam Veer’ and ‘Raampur Ka Lakshman’ – his films defined a new genre called ‘masala movies’.
So, when asked whether he would like to remake any of his father’s films or one from the same school of thought, Desai said: ‘I would like to bring that cinema back too. However, it is difficult. My father was a magician. Anyone who tries to imitate him will fall flat. Genres you can adapt, but his style you can’t.
‘For a Manmohan Desai kind of film, you need a galaxy of stars. Secondly, you need great screenplay, where every scene blends into the other and larger-than-life sequences. Once you have sorted out that, you can embark on the mission,’ he said.