ANIL SHARMA – ON HIS EVOLUTION FROM DRAMA TO ACTION FILMS
Posted by barkha on August 16, 2012 | No Comments
When Anil Sharma delivers a hit, he delivers a huge mega hit. From sailing in regular waters, to HUKUMAT in 1987, to GADDAR in 2001 and recently to APNE. Anil Sharma’s films have left an indelible mark, when the history of Indian cinema is told. What is surprising is that he started of wanting to tell family dramas, then one more “D”
happened in his life- Dharmendra Deol and the rest of the Deols decided to join forces with Anil. From thereon till now, neither have the Deols parted company, nor has Anil Sharma stopped delivering hit film after hit film. Here we talk to this writer, director on the amazing stint in filmmaking for the masses:
Shardhanjali to Gaddar to Apne, how has Anil Sharma evolved?
When Shardhanjali was made, I was very young, I was just a 21 year old guy. Coming from Mathura, I was very influenced by mythology. I was instilled with a lot of traditional values in my house. What I wanted to tell the audience, as a newcomer director was, a good moving story. I thought, back then of the mythology of Savitri and Satyavan. In that Savitri loses her husband and then goes to Yamraj, the Lord of Death, to get her husband back. In today’s time it meant that the wife would fulfill the dreams of her spouse, post his death. This was the germ for Shardhanjali. Then in 1987, I teamed up with Dharmendra and made Hukumat. This turned out to be a blockbuster. Suddenly I was back in circulation in a big way, as an Action Film Director. So from aspiring to make Socially relevant and family oriented drama, I had suddenly evolved into this hit -king -of- action- films. Ironically, my second film, Bandhan Kache Dhagon Ka, did not even have as much as a slap. As can be imagined in a mass oriented commercial industry, I was saddled with making action films one after another. Tehelka, Elan- E -Jung, and many more, were action films, all were successful. But I was beginning to feel creatively dissatisfied. I took a 4-5 year break from filmmaking. Returned with Maharaja, but that did not do well in the box office. So here I was wondering what I should do next. I decided to combine the two, make a somewhat action film, but base it around strong drama and emotions. The biggest hit of its time Gaddar was the result. Taking that same step forward, but surprising the audience by taking all three Deols, Apne came to being. That has been my journey and my growth.
Some super successes and then some drops, how do you deal with all this up and down?
See I believe in hard work, in all my scripts and in all my films, I work extremely hard. I treat this process as being in a school where you go through different classes. In some you do well, some you don’t. When I don’t or when my film does not, I want to work twice as hard in the next one, in fact I get more energy post a film which does not do well, to work harder in the next one.
On the special relationship with the Deols?
They have stood by me, at all times and I love them deeply. I have got performances from them that few have managed. It is because the Deols are basically very honest people and if you direct them with honesty, you get a great performance from them. A lot of times people have not got that honesty or have gotten into excessive drama when working with them, hence it probably shows on the screen. Give the Deols a honest film, with honest dialogues and characterization and they give their 110%.
Directing, producing and writing, what defines Anil Sharma?
I love writing, but sometimes I don’t have the patience to write, but my forte and my main strength is direction. Production gives me the creative control. But at the end of the day, my main calling is that of a director.
I will being filming, with Sunny Deol, called Singh Saheb The Great. A story set in UP and Bihar and how the character fights corruption in his own way, a very different satirical way. It is a very different from anything you may have seen Sunny in. The filming will start in end Oct.
Do Indian stories excite you more than International ones?
I think certain stories have a universal appeal. Certain relationships, certain emotions are global. Those excite me most. Any story that touches me, is what excites me and then it could be from anywhere. Deep inside I don’t think there is any differentiation between a Global and an Indian story. A good story is a good story.