"We have fallen out? What rubbish!" - Anees Bazmee/ Vipul Shah
By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
It is a common saying, not just in Bollywood but any industry, that success brings with it it's many detractors. Even as the euphoria of huge money spinner that Singh Is Kinng was still on came a report that it's makers Anees Bazmee (director) and Vipul Shah (producer) had fallen out. Their point of contention? Who is responsible for the success of this Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer?
While intense marketing and some superb planning by Vipul made Singh Is Kinng reach out to the masses, Anees Bazmee ensured that they were kept entertained in those two hours that followed once theater doors were closed and lights went dim. No wonder, lines were drawn and detractors started having a field day to pit the two successful filmmakers against each others.
While a tabloid report did claim that all was not well between the two ever since the film became a success, the fact is that it has only succeeded in leaving a bad taste in the mouth of both Anees and Vipul. Negating any issue whatsoever that the two were supposed to have with each other, Anees and Vipul re-emphasize their fondness and respect for each other and come out clean in this exclusive conversation with Joginder Tuteja, only at Bollywood Hungama.
"Stories about the fall out between me and Vipul are absolute hogwash. Why would that happen", questions Anees who has now delivered third major successful money spinner in 3 years after No Entry and Welcome, "I have always maintained that I love my work the most and that was the case with Singh Is Kinng as well. Soon after the film was declared a superhit within 3 days of its release, I was busy working on It's My Life. When did I actually have time to get into any sort of quarrels or unpleasant situation with Vipul?"
Reaffirms Vipul from London (where he is busy with pre-production of London Dreams), "We were partying day in and night out throughout the first weekend of the film's release. Then Aneesji got busy with his next project while I too came to London. Tell me, when could we have actually got into verbal duel, as has been claimed, in the interim? It is irresponsible reporting at its worst!"
But there may have been something which he or Anees would have uttered which would have led to the article coming out in print? "None at all", thunders Vipul in unison, "In fact all through my conversation, I continued to maintain that I would love to work with Aneesji in future as well. Even when I was asked about directing the sequel to Singh Is Kinng, I acknowledged that there was no one better equipped to do the job than Aneesji himself. I also stated that even if he was busy, I would continue to pursue him to take on the project and even in the worst case scenario; I would want him to be associated with the project in the capacity of a creative advisor. Now what can one do when in spite of such positive statements being made about a fellow director, some random angle is highlighted to make it sound like a bitter war in the happening. It is disgusting to see something like this being done just in order to come up with a spicy story."
Adds Anees in his characteristic cool manner, "There are people in the industry who would love to create a rift between two people if they are successful. There are feeds from these so-called sources which make matters ugly. In our case too, there was certain negativity in place ever since work began on Singh Is Kinng a year back. People used to challenge the very aspect of two established directors coming together for a project. They said, 'Yeh project nahi ban sakta kyonki Vipul aur Anees ki sensibilities different hai'."
"True", laughs Vipul, "There were many who would tell me that films directed by Aneesji take time to be completed and hence be very sure before he comes on the project. But see, after initially announcing 15th August 2008 as the release date for the film, we not just came a week earlier but also did record business at the box office. No wonder, the same people are now trying to create a rift between the two of us."
Getting emotional, Anees adds, "There have been good reviews and terrific word of mouth with everyone acknowledging the fact that Singh Is Kinng has given audience a 'paisa-vasool' entertainment. But guess what is the biggest compliment that I got? It was just two simple words - 'Thank You' - from Shefali Shah (Vipul's wife) that touched my heart the most. I guess nothing else can ever take away this heartfelt gesture from her!"
Coming to two established directors coming together for a project, do they really feel that anyone out there is indeed uncertain about whose film is it eventually? Says Vipul in a matter of fact tone, "Arrey bhai, it was always a film by Anees Bazmee and it will always stay on to be the same. I knew that I had to distance myself from the project as far as calling the shots from behind the camera was concerned. Both of us come from different sensibilities and for Singh Is Kinng, it was quite obvious that Anees would do the best. It is his film all the way and I would be mighty surprised if anyone out there still wants to challenge that or tries to create a misunderstanding on just this very point."