Six years have gone by since his debut directorial outing Jaan-E-Mann. Now that just a fortnight remains for the release of his ambitious outing Joker, Shirish Kunder is neck deep into the film’s post production to give it the kind of visual treatment that has been promised.

Akshay Kumar and Shirish Kunder
Akshay Kumar and Shirish Kunder

After choosing an unconventional story about aliens landing in a village, did you promise yourself to work towards visual treatment as well once you started filming ‘Joker’?
It is not about making a promise, it is an intention to bring something new visually. If that is not to be the case then why direct? I can just write or perhaps go on to produce a film and then leave it that that. The reason why I directed ‘Joker’ is because the story demands certain treatment.

How exactly?
I will explain. Look at Jaan-E-Mann; at the face of it was a normal love triangle but I made it look different from visuals perspective. It was my first film and I did whatever I could do best. I remember Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Preity Zinta being amazed with what they saw on screen even though during the days of shooting they didn’t have much clue around what was being shot since we did a lot of work on VFX.

Looks like it was Akshay’s turn to be surprised again?
(Smiles) Yes, Joker too has a very different style with completely different visuals. Lot of scenes featuring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha have been filled with VFX. My films would always have certain visual difference to them and that’s the reason why the entire palette of Joker is so distinct.

How about the commercial perspectives of the film though? Now that the film is being released, do we see an out and out mass entertainer in the offering or something that is primarily a visual benchmark?
Of course the intention is to make a mass entertainer only. However for some strange reason many out there feel that mass entertainers are only those films which are either brain dead or remakes! Come on, ek achchi story bhi mass entertainer ho sakti hai. You can have humour, drama, action – everything that children can also understand.

Still, the film is an experiment of sorts, isn’t it?
I look at it this way. When you do something which is formulaic, you know pretty sure-shot that the film would do so and so business. With new things and experimentation though you can only hope that audience likes what you make. (Smiles) Even Einstein didn’t invent everything on the same day and gained success; he used to keep making something new everyday and then get his success!

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