Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Jogira Sara Ra Ra will hit the theaters today. Noted writer Ghalib Asad Bhopali has been roped in to write the film. He describes the film as a comedy as well as a romance that can be watched with the whole family. Excerpts from a conversation with Urmila Kori on her films and career
When did you think of making a comedy film with Nawazuddin Siddiqui?
During the movie Babumoshai Bandukbaaz, we felt Nawaz’s sense of humor. Besides, the film was dark and did not get the family audience. At that time it was decided that the next film would be a comedy and would be about the whole family.
How comfortable is Nawaz on the sets?
He is very relaxed on set but remains a bit reserved. He has no grudge, but every creative person has his own desire. He wants everyone to respect him. They don’t like insensitivity. He wants it to be in the right graph at the script level. He is very particular about it. He also asks about other actors. Usually actors focus on themselves, but he focuses on the entirety of the scene. Every actor is special to him.
After watching the trailer of Jogira Sara Rara, we know you have a quirky sense of humor.
My humor comes from my mother. He read Ibne Safi’s Jasoosi Dunya a lot. Ibne was a writer in the 50s and later moved to Pakistan. Spy thrillers were a bit vulgar in those days, but Ibn Safi’s specialty was his humor, his stories were free of profanity, so that made an impression on me. Many were inspired by him. The famous scene from Sholay where Amitabh Bachchan meets Basanti’s aunt for Veeru’s relationship. This comic scene was taken from his novels. Kadar Khan’s script was also influenced by Ibn Safi. What I read is now influencing my writing. I read a lot of comics so I wrote Shaktiman. I read a lot of detective novels so I got an opportunity to work in the detective series Adhikari Brothers. I was impressed by the comedy.
You and the film’s director Kushan Nandy have been together for a long time, how would you describe your association?
We know each other for more than 15 years. He is very creative. Our struggle remains the same. We understand each other better because we have similar thought processes. His father was a writer and I was the son of a writer. We both had many things in common. We were like lost twins. I am lucky to work with such people. It’s great to work for friends like him.
As a writer, what is your take on Hindi films not doing well in recent times?
Writing is the basis of any film. In Hollywood, the writer is usually the producer of the film. He plans everything this way. Not so in our industry. Our manufacturers think from a sales point of view. He doesn’t care about the script. Audiences have a lot of options and need motivation to get out of the house after the lockdown. Now movies release on OTT after a month so people don’t want to go to theaters. Many films from the South did well because they got diversity.
Noticed from the trailer of this movie that you have a weird sense of humor?
My humor comes from my mother. The books he read a lot to Safi’s spy world. He was a writer in the 50s and later moved to Pakistan. I will also read those books. Spy thrillers were a bit vulgar in those days but Ibn Safi’s specialty was his humour, his stories were devoid of obscenity. That left an impression on my mind. Many were inspired by him. The famous scene in Sholay where Amitabh Bachchan meets Dhanno’s aunt was a comic scene taken from his novels. Kadar Khan’s script was also influenced by Ibn Safi. What I read is now influencing my writing. I read a lot of comics so I wrote Shaktiman. I read a lot of detective novels so I got an opportunity to work in the detective series Adhikari Brothers. I was influenced by comedy so now I got to write many comedy serials and movies.
You were a successful writer of television serials but then why did you stay away from TV?
I started with Shaktiman series. I like to work in my comfort zone. The way of working in television was different earlier and it is different now. Earlier there was only one producer, director and one writer, we discussed and started working on the series. Now there is a lot of conflict because many people have come into it. Everyone has a different mindset and you want to please everyone. It becomes difficult to please everyone. I am happy with the work I am doing and the people I am working with.
Your next project?
The film will follow Kunfaya, a supernatural story of a different genre. We’ve done a comedy, a thriller and now a paranormal movie. The film stars Harshvardhan Rane and Sanjeeda Shaikh.