Interview By: Drishti Pandey
Anwer khan, who had been assisting one of the great film makers of our industry; late Manmohan Desai, is now ready to follow his footsteps and entertain the audience like his mentor did. With his second directorial venture ‘Yeh Toh Two Much Ho Gayaa’ out, he spoke to us about this film and experiences. Read on..
“I’ve always been inspired with the late Manmohan Desai sir and Amitabh Bachchan ji in my life and I will always dedicate all my films to my guru late Manmohanji”
Tell us about your film ‘Yeh Toh Two Much Ho Gayaa’ and how did you come on board?
‘Yeh Toh Two Ho Gayaa’, is a family entertainer and the highlight of the movie is Arbaaz Khan, he is playing the main villain and the audience will see him in a very different role; he is the don of Thailand and he doesn’t talk much, he loves his brother more than anything in the film. On the other hand Jimmy Shergil is playing a double role in the film for the first time. Even Vijay Patkar who is a comedian will be seen playing a double role for the first time. So keeping both the characters in mind, we have kept the film’s title ‘Yeh Toh Two Much Ho Gayaa’, and we have shared this title between these two characters stating that they have caused “too much” chaos in the film. I was assisting for late Manmohan Desai ji I had worked with him for a really long time. My first film was released in 2013 ‘Four Two Ka One’ which had Jimmy Shergil, Rajpal Yadav and Murli Sharma. After that I was offered a few films but I didn’t like the subjects; so I thought of waiting. After that, the co producer of ‘Four Two Ka One’, T Nillay Pande had called me and asked me if I have any subject with me. So I narrated him this subject ‘Yeh Toh Two Much Ho Gayaa’, and he really liked the subject so I spoke to Abraaz Sir for the film and even he was ready, so then I met Ali Unwala the producer and we started the film. 70% of the film was shot in Thailand within 15 days and the rest 30% was shot in Mumbai.
As you mentioned you got Arbaaz Khan on board so was the script written visualizing him in the character? And also how was your experience shooting with him since he’s also a producer and director.
Yes I had Arbaaz sir in mind while writing the script that he will be the perfect character for this film, because in the film ‘ Hello Brother’ he had a stiff character which was in my mind already. When I finished writing the script and I had to go to approach him; I was merely nervous because he had given me cut to cut time so as we met and I narrated him the script, he loved it and said that he hasn’t played such a character yet and that he would love to do it. Then we worked on his looks and I had taken 4 to 5 sketches of his looks along with me to show him; so I showed him all the getups of his character and he was pleased enough to see that I was fully prepared at the first meeting. He asked me my opinion and said what get up will suit him according to me. I was very happy with this kind of behavior and it also reminded me of Amit Ji because even he is very punctual about time and he leaves everything on his director, he will always listen to his directors. I knew this because as I was working with late Manmohan ji and also worked with Amit ji so I directly thought of it. I really liked Arbaaz sir’s way of working and we enjoyed throughout the shoot. And at the end of the shoot when Arbaaz had his last shot, he was like why is my character ending he told me that he wanted more of the character; he was totally enjoying it. He is a good director and a producer, he’s directed ‘Dabangg 2’ and inshallah going to direct ‘Dabangg 3’ also. So I would say he is very good director than me; to direct a director is tough, one cannot do any mistakes. For example, a shot angle or a dialogue if anywhere we go wrong so he will understand that there is something wrong happening here. But I was lucky enough I didn’t have to go through anything like that, when I was set with my first shot; he was very happy with me.
Your directorial debut in the year 2013 was with ‘Four Two ka One’ and now your upcoming ‘Yeh Two Much Ho Gayaa’ so why was the gap after your first film?
There was a 2 and a half year gap and I had been offered subjects but I didn’t find it appealing. I go according to Manmohan ji’s rules. In today’s life, every man is in tension so film is a medium to make their tension little less. A person will walk into the theatre to enjoy and lessen his or her day to day troubles. Now-a-days, there are a few films which a person can go and watch it with their family. So I wanted to make a film which is an entertainer, in which a father can take his family and watch the film, similarly like Mohan sir’s film use to be. Today we have to either watch the film or think twice whether to take our kids along with us.
How long did it take you to write the script?
I was ready with the story line so I started writing the script and I completed in one month and then approximately it took me two and half months to write the screenplay and dialogues and also simultaneously signing the artist.
You’ve worked with Jimmy Shergil in your first film and now once again you’re working with him, so was it a conscious decision to get him on board or was it a requirement of the script?
No it wasn’t that Jimmy was in mind we even tried other actors but there were date issues. We already had Arbaaz bhai’s date. My producer asked me if I was okay with Jimmy and I said definitely there’s no issue. So having everyone’s consent we went to Jimmy and asked him; listening to the subject he agreed and also that Arbaaz’s sir and Jimmy’s date matched so we started our work ahead. There was no difficulty working with Jimmy as we both knew each other and has worked before so it made it easier.
You’ve written song lyrics for both your films, so are you into music or it is just that your film evokes the lyricist in you?
All these things I have learnt from my guru late Manmohan Desai sir, everything till date whatever I have learnt and achieved is because of Manmohan sir. His influence will be seen in my film; he had a very good music sense and whatever little I know about music is all his given so I write poems, songs and I’ve too written screenplay for this film. What happened was when I gave the songs to the music director and when the lyrics came; so I wasn’t finding it good so I said will change it still I didn’t find any difference so I decided that ill only pen it down. So the three songs of this film is written by me “ Hairat-E-Aashique”, “Meri Aawaargi” and a party song.
As we see in both your films there’s a number in your title, so it is a sheer coincidence or a story behind it?
(laughs) No! It was purely a coincidence. A few days back even I had a thought about it that my first film was ‘Four Two Ka One’ and now ‘Yeh Toh Two Much Ho Gayaa’ so now as per this coincidence my future film should be also having a “number” in it (laughs) but let’s see nothing has been finalised yet.
Is writing better than directing or you find both are equal at its place?
I enjoy each and every department in my film and I believe every director has to; because a director is the caption of the ship. He or she should have knowledge about everything as to where, what has to be done. So I’m enjoying my work as a writer, as a screenplay writer, as lyrists, as a director. I’m that kind of person that in absence of my assistance, I’ll do their work too; I don’t feel ashamed because I believe it’s my work and I have to take care of it. By god’s grace I don’t have any attitude or arrogance in me I always wish to stay grounded. Once I had asked Amit ji that god has given him so much success; so he replied saying that success isn’t tough to achieve but it’s tough to handle it. There are a lot of things of Amit ji and Manmohan ji which I follow. I’ve always been inspired with these two men in my life and I will always dedicate all my films to my guru late Manmohanji.
I’ve been talking to three four people and one proposal I have given to Amit ji, I had met him on the sets of ‘Pink’ so I spoke to him and he told me to wait for a while as he is busy so once he will be free he will see my script and call me. And I have a murder mystery and a thriller story on which I’m working on and have spoken to three four producers so as its approved ill announce it.