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    Three Priyadarshan films in two months

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Wednesday, November 02, 2005
    After releasing two movies on the same date, writer-director Priyadarshan is now working on his next movie "Malamaal Weekly", which he hopes to release in December.

    Priyadarshan, who released his "Garam Masala" and "Kyun Ki" on the same day last month, claims nobody has done it before. However, he is confident about the prospects of the films, as they are "different in genre".

    "It''s never happened before. Ideally I would have liked the two films to come separately. But the release is in the producers'' hands. I feel ''Garam Masala'' and ''Kyun Ki'' are completely different in genre," he said in an interview with IANS.

    Was there any particular reason for releasing the two films on the same day?

    It has never happened before. Ideally I would have liked the two films to come separately. But the release is in the producers' hands. But then I feel "Garam Masala" and "Kyun Ki" are completely different in genre.

    Basically I don't plan anything. What has to happen will happen ... I have finished one more film "Malamaal Weekly". This one is not a remake. I have written the original screenplay myself. It's an experimental comedy. I have got Ritesh Deshmukh and Rimi Sen to play the conventional leads. But the main characters are Om Puri and Paresh Rawal. They are like Pran and Ashok Kumar in "Victoria 203". It's about a village that's suffering from a drought. It's got a typical rustic feel, like R.K. Narayan's Malgudi Days. I love to shoot in the village. "Malamaal Weekly" will be released in December.

    So you will have three releases in two months?

    That's right. But "Garam Masala" and "Kyun Ki" are very different from one another. One is hilarious and the other is more serious. Actually people will get to compare the two films and see my range.

    Lately you were typecast as a comic director.

    "Kyun Ki" will change that. I am very happy with both Kareena and Salman. People regard Salman as one of the best actors in the country. Now I know why. He has performed with such sincerity. He would get up every morning at 4.30 to shoot. I was so thankful to him. We got along very well. He understood my needs as a director.

    Something about "Kyun Ki"?

    "Kyun Ki" is a love story between a doctor and patient. Salman plays a man who went mad after he was betrayed in love.

    This sounds like Asit Sen's "Khamoshi"!

    Exactly. I was told there are similarities. I must see "Khamoshi". "Kyun Ki" is very hard-hitting film. Even "Garam Masala" is special, though "Kyun Ki" is close to my heart. It will change my image as a comic filmmaker in Mumbai.

    What's special about "Garam Masala"?

    No one can make a thriller with humour. I have done it. This one is a remake of my Malayalam film "Boeing Boeing". The first half I have changed. The second half is identical to the original. "Garam Masala" is a fun time-pass film. For me, whether it's a serious or light film, the important thing is for audiences to enjoy it. That's what is important. And every film should be shot and edited differently. Otherwise both the filmmaker and the audience get bored. What finally matters is success. But I will never make a film that I can't sit and watch with my daughter.

    What are you making now?

    A film for UTV with Kareena, Shahid and Isha Sharvani. I have not yet got a title for it. I have a huge problem. My Hindi is bad. I can't speak in Hindi. But I can read and write it.

    The film is about a man who can speak but pretends to be deaf and mute to win the love of a deaf and mute girl. It's a remake of a very old Malayalam film. I have changed it to accommodate a lot of humour. When things go wrong, I can always depend fully on comedy. Let me experiment with "Kyun Ki". It's a total emotional film. If "Garam Masala" clicks and not "Kyun Ki", I will return to making comedies.

    Is John Abraham good at comedy?

    I am happy with his performance. I had been asked the same question about Akshay (Kumar) and Suniel Shetty when I made "Hera Pheri".

    Everyone in Mumbai wants to work with you!

    Not true! In any case, there are only four saleable stars, and you never know how their minds work. So I am not making any plans. But I have given up doing Malayalam films for now. For two years, I will only make Hindi films. I think I should make hay while the sun shines.

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