Their Manoj Bajpayee starrer The Family Man has been finding some rave reviews coming its way and is also quite popular on the web series circuits not just in India but also internationally. However, their last two feature film outings as directors, A Gentleman with Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez and Happy Ending with Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D’Cruz, didn’t really have a ‘happy ending’ in theaters.
So what do they think about Happy Ending and loved A Gentleman not quite reaching reach out to the audiences? We get chatting with the maverick director duo Raj & DK.
Says Raj, “Maybe these films didn’t reach out to a bigger audience due to their nature. Maybe they were too foreign to the audiences who were all gravitating towards local and small-town films which had far Indian looking content. We always do what we thought would be out of the box; something unique irrespective of what was going out at that point. Sometimes these work and sometimes don’t. We don’t design 100 crores films; sometimes it happens as was the case in Stree.”
“I like these two films a lot,” says DK, “Both these films were the kind where we were not trying to fit into masala format or anything. We had the opportunity to make a rom-com for Saif Ali Khan who at that time was famous for this genre, be it Love Aaj Kal or Cocktail. We were aware of the genre that we were making. Instead, we chose to make a meta rom-com where we were self-aware that we were poking fun of the genre itself and also embracing the genre. The fact that why it didn’t work at the box office is anyone’s guess. You have seen the film and various people have given various reason. I don’t think that my reason would be any different. Maybe it was too urban or too glossy. Perhaps the story about two writers in LA may have alienated audiences.”
Adds Raj, “Yes, for Happy Ending we wanted to make a meta romcom, which means a rom-com about romcom. Same thing about A Gentleman. We wanted to make a yuppy action film with a tight budget, something which is a nod to yesteryear popcorn action films. It was our take on ‘judwaa’ where we created a twist which was novel and not made ever before. May be it came at a wrong time as different kind of films were working at that time.”
Though A Gentleman didn’t do well theatrically on its release, on the digital medium it has managed to find good audience for itself.
Says DK, “We had an opportunity to make a popcorn action film. We then brought our own quirk into it. It is one of the best twists for a double role film. I don’t think that I have seen anything like that before. The action out there was top notch. Even today when I watch it, I don’t see any complain about the finesse or execution. As for why it didn’t work then please educate us. I can only think that since Stree and The Family Man have worked then that’s because these were rooted films and are centered on the middle class. This is something that I can tell on the surface. We have tried to make something quirky and urban as well. As Raj hA Gentleman with Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez and Happy Ending with Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D’Cruz, didn’t really have a ‘happy ending’ in theaters.as also mentioned, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”