When multi-talented filmmaker-actor Tigmanshu Dhulia visited the Capital recently, the first thing we asked him was, why the two T’s in his upcoming film, Bullett Raja? It has nothing to do with numerology, he told us. “It’s got to do with the way we say the word ‘bullett’ with an emphasis. It’s not numerology, just to bring the local flavour to the accent.”
From the students’ politics in Haasil (2003) to the rawness of Saheb Biwi aur Gangster, he has managed to garner much critical acclaim. However, “Money is also important and it’s good to make money at the box office,” confesses the 46-year-old. And that’s the reason he has roped in Saif Ali Khan in Bullett Raja. “We knew the kind of budget we were playing with. The scale of the movie was going to be big. And I knew we can afford a big star, this time,” he says.
However, he likes to strike a balance: “It feels good to make money at the box office. But it’s also important to strike a balance between creative hunger and money,” he pauses, and adds, “Main chichori pictures nahi bana sakta, yaar. And my films have to be realistic, like there can’t be any forced coincidences like someone eavesdropping, et cetera. From the time I begin writing, I just have to imagine the kind of character in full. I imagine his/her surname, the setup, the nuances and the entire feel,” says the filmmaker, known for realistically portraying characters.
A lot of chichori movies earn money at the box office thanks to huge publicity, but Dhulia calls the process too expensive. “Publicity does spread awareness about the film, par bahut paisa kharch hota hai yaar... Audience soongh ke pata laga leti hai... The audience just knows,” says Dhulia.