Madhur, are you happy with the film’s response?
Of course yes! For me ‘Traffic Signal’ is a SUPER HIT!
Superhit? Has it really done that kind of box office business?
Why do we have to always classify the film as a hot or a flop only based on the kind of money it earns? I would rather look at it differently. For a film like ‘Traffic Signal’, recovering the cost itself is a matter of celebration and if it starts earning profits from there on, it is nothing short of being superhit.
But why do you say that?
Arrey yaar, look at the way ‘Traffic Signal’ was conceptualized and conceived. It was meant to be a star-less film and the way it has performed in spite of relative new names is an achievement in itself. Kunal Khemu was like just one-film old as a leading hero while Neetu Chandra had only a ‘Garam Masala’ behind her. Rest were all part of an ensemble cast and to pull off a movie like this and then earn profits is remarkable, isn’t it?
Your film wasn’t even backed by songs.
That’s right. I have always maintained that ‘Traffic Signal’ didn’t have a single hit song. They were all mediocre and didn’t quite make people venture into the theatres just for them. This is why I say that it was brand Madhur Bhandarkar that worked most for the film.
The film has done bumper business in Mumbai with Delhi doing well too. Down South the film has been accepted in a big way, especially Chennai, and it is only CP Berar territory where the film has underperformed. There were no stars, no songs and to add to it the subject was unusual and unexplored. How much further experimental can one get while still being in the realms of commercial cinema?
But doesn’t the thought cross your mind now to go all out in a big way?
The day I want I can do that, and mind it even my equity will also go higher up. Even today I get paid well even though my films are small and tomorrow when I make a film with a big starcast and wider canvas, I can see my direction fee go up by a few crores. But then for all this, you need a script that necessitates such a setup.
But your next ‘Fashion’ doesn’t sound big enough?
You never know, ‘Fashion’ may or may not be my next film after all. It could be a big film coming up. Wait and watch.