Rensil D'Silva can finally heave a sigh of relief now that his film 'Ungli' is finally up for a release this week. In a heart-to-heart conversation, Rensil talks to clapsnslaps about what caused the delay in his film, his association with Karan Johar again and more. Read onâ€¦
What caused the delay in 'Ungli'?
Well the most obvious reason was Sanjay Dutt. It was a tough one and completely unexpected. Luckily I had finished almost 80% of shoot so it didn't kill me. But 4-5 scenes we completed when he was having legal hassles. It then became a domino effect. If you see 'Ungli', it is an ensemble film where 5 actors are required in all the frames. So if one guy goes missing, then it becomes difficult. And the second delay was the music. We just didn't get what we wanted because of the nature of the film, because it is not a regular masala film. It required a certain soundtrack which I am very happy to say that I have got it with an ensemble of musicians. So those were the two main reasons. Another minor reason was we were looking for a solo week to release the film. This is a packed year. Karan first found it in May and then things didn't work out so then we decided on November 28.
How did you convince Karan Johar to produce 'Ungli'
I don't think Karan is ever going to get a rom-com from me to be honest. He will never get a boy meets girl sing 4 songs type films from me. I have nothing against that. It is a valid cinema and makes its money, but I don't write that. Look at my filmography -'Aks', 'Rang De Basanti', 'Kurbaan', 'Student of the Year', 24, 'Ungli', 'Shoebite'. So he knows what he has got on-board. I think he reacted very fast to it. Karan knew this is something socially relevant and people will quickly catch it if done right and done in a young voice. Audience is very smart. They will walk out of the theatre even if you show them 6-7 packs. Karan told me it is a relevant film and asked me to go ahead with it. It is commercial in its own way. 'Ungli' might not be a DNA of Dharma. 'Agneepath' isn't a DNA of Dharma, just that it was made earlier by the production house. It is revenge drama.
You films have a certain Hollywood style in terms of narration - fast, engrossing & consistent. Does 'Ungli' have the touch of the same vein?
'Ungli' has a touch of the same vein - it is fast, engrossing. It doesn't meander and keeps to the story which is more really a part of my writing. I don't think I write formula films. If I give you a familiar wish there are chances you like it, but if I give you unfamiliar dish then I can ask for your attention but I cannot waste your time. So I have to give you an unfamiliar dish, keeping you engrossed without making you work more to digest it. Also when I tend to make films for Dharma, there is a certain cost attached to it. I am not making 5 crores film, I am making 40 crores film. So I cannot be indulgent or else it will really cost me.
'Ungli' trailer has received great response. Did you expect that?
I am quite happy with the trailer. I didn't expect this response. The trailer struck a nerve with the audience. There is a disparate amount of likes to dislikes to the trailer. But I think it is the content and not the trailer which is selling. It is either the content or the lines which are working and that is heartening because that is really the film. If there is any indication, then I as a director need to check whether I am on the right track that I have received from the trailer. It is a kind of validation.
Did the delay in the film frustrate you?
The delays frustrated the hell out of me. I think the worst that can happen to a director is for his lead actor to go to jail and for him to face the possibility of an incomplete film. It is not a film Karan and I could do about. Sanju went to jail, that's the end for me. I cannot do anything about it. I have to reshoot it. That is hell of a lot of money and time. And the mental stress you go through is unparalleled. That said, the one thing it helped me is with my music. Had I released it last year, I wouldn't have got these songs. Songs are becoming extremely crucial for the success of the film. Promo and the songs are the marketing units. They draw the audience to the film. I have an exemplary album whatever the hardwork and delay. It is a blessing in disguise though it shouldn't happen to anyone.
With Sanjay Dutt going through so many legal hassles, did you have any backup in mind for his role?
Didn't have any back up and whether I would reshoot or not would have been Karan's decision. If I had to reshoot, I would go to Anil Kapoor, with whom I am working on 24 and would have told him 'Anil please do it.' I am up to the ear and in deep shit.
Were 'Student of the Year' and '24' like a relief during these frustrating times?
It is very sad, if you are making formula films it is very busy to churn. I make films on topics. First I have to make a film which is exciting. Then I have to get actors on board for the film. This is an ensemble and now a days people don't make it. I was lucky that the actors loved the script and they were in. But everytime you go off the block, it takes a toll. Now I am used to it. Success has many fathers, failure is orphan! I wish we have a system where people recognize the script. I think we will have better cinema.