Kunal Deshmukh: The World Has Woken Up To Emraan Hashmi
Jannat 2 has taken a record breaking start and with the kind of moolah that the film is earning, Emraan Hashmi is now sitting pretty in the big league. The film has opened huge,and yet again reaffirmed the fact that Bhatts are playing well in the arena set by them which other filmmakers are expected to follow. While Mohit Suri has been playing in this field for quite some time now, another filmmaker who has been lent repeated opportunity in the fold is Kunal Deshmukh. With a success (Jannat) and a non-performer (Tum Mile) behind him, the young filmmaker is expectedly elated with the fact that his third film has hit the bull’s eye.
Kunal, your movie has taken a huge opening at the box-office by gaining good audience for itself. This must be heartening after the response of Tum Mile, isn’t it?
Extremely heartening (smiles). I had put a lot into Tum Mile but it did not do too well. After that I took a lot of time in deciding my next movie. I was aware that if my next movie does not do well, I would be history. I may still be in the business but then I won’t get the desired budget or be able to work with the actors I want. So I decided to make movies that would be complete entertainers and audiences would like. Jannat franchise seemed like a good option as the first one had done so well, I was sure I would be able to carry the franchise further with the context of Jannat2. That has now happened with people taking the movie well.
In fact by the look of things, it seemed obvious that Jannat 2 was designed to be much bigger in terms of scale and grandeur when compared to Jannat, right?
No I don’t think that’s true. In traditional film sense, a movie is considered big if it’s shot abroad with a lot of pomp and show. My movie is shot in real locations in and around Delhi. The locations are gritty and very close to real life. I have shot the movie around Qutub Minar, in Paharganj etc. It’s looking big and good because the locations support the script. I am not a person who would take the unit to New York for a song. I would only do something like that if the script has a place for it and the characters need it. In this film, the script is entirely Indian and deals with the issue of weapons in a regular day-to-day life. There is no need for the fanfare. To ensure that people related to the film, it had to be shot somewhere in Delhi or up north where the issue is prevalent.
Since it is a given that Emraan Hashmi was supposed to star in the film, did you actually tailor the script to go well with his image?
To state a fact, it was about time that Emraan was taken far more seriously. The world has woken up to him now after Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, The Dirty Picture and Murder 2; certain image and persona of Emraan has been created and well accepted. However another fact is that Jannat 2 was conceptualised much before these films turned successful and now we have used his personality and traits to the maximum. So though it might look like we are following Emraan’s set persona, that’s not really the case. I have just drawn a parallel in his character from Jannat. If you liked Arjun Dixit, you would definitely like ‘Sonu Dilli’.
Coming to the film’s leading lady Esha Gupta, normally in films coming from the house of Bhatt’s, women are projects as bold and independent who are confident of their sexuality. Guess Esha has taken that tradition forward now in Jannat 2.
See, majority of Bhatt movies are romantic love stories. As is the case in all love stories, a leading lady is as important as the hero. I agree that one thing that you would find in Bhatt movies is that women are not submissive; they always have a mind of their own and their characterisation is complete. One director who really does that well is Imtiaz Ali. His female characters are strong as well. Similarly Bhatts too use this characteristic of female characters well that further helps in making realistic cinema which today’s women can relate to. We have done the same with Jannat 2.