We got in touch with Kuku Kohli for an interview. Naturally, we asked him about Aruna ji. See the video below:
Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
Where have you been for so long? Your last film ‘Woh Tera Naam Tha’
released 17-18 years ago…
I was producing TV serials, but yes, you are right. I wasn’t seen in the Bollywood circuit. That’s largely because I was doing research in Canada on a subject which I plan to make; it’s for OTT. You will soon see me putting one big film on floors within a year.
Have you seen the many changes that Bollywood has gone through in those 17/18 years?
Yes, and there have been far too many changes. I consider myself lucky that in our times, we could smell the film. Aajkal woh nahi hai. Movies are made where certain things have to be understood on our own.
Then, why are movies flopping left, right and centre today?
You see, movies are being made in a hurry. Script ko pi jaate the. Un dino mein rewrite karte rehte the, unless and until everything was perfect. Besides, I think OTT is overtaking movies. Achi film khair phir bhi chalegi.
Are you saying that the content is better, today?
Hmmm… what I am not happy about is the fact that the music of today stands very far from us; I can’t identify with it. Plus, back in the day, a lot of work was done on the film much before it went for a shoot.
You started off as an assistant director with Raj Kapoor and moved on to be an Action Director with Rahul Rawail in films like ‘Betaab and Arjun’. How did this dramatic transformation of genre happen for you?
The public had started liking action movies more. Besides, Rawail didn’t make only action films. There were sensitive stories which had action weaved into it.
How did you go on to direct your maiden film ‘Phool Aur Kaante‘?
I wanted to direct a film of my own. I had the subject of ‘Phool aur Kaante’. I had made Prakash Mehra’s trusted lieutenant Satyen Pal Chaudhary listen to it. At this point, Dinesh Patel saw me very frustrated in his office one day. He offered to produce ‘Phool Aur Kaante’.
Was he okay with the fact that you were going with newcomers?
I had auditioned many established doctors. In fact, I had finalised Akshay Kumar in the lead role. But he had signed a Pramod Chakraborty film which began around the same time. He could not allot bulk dates.
Then, I saw Ajay’s picture in his dad’s office. He was called Raju then. I asked his dad if he wants to become a hero. I auditioned Ajay and he oozed confidence; he rattled off quite a few dialogues of ‘Zanjeer’ in the audition.
You made several films after that. Which would you rate as your best?
I liked every film I made. But I think a man is known for his first successful work. Hence I would put ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ as No.1.
We spoke to your wife Aruna Irani, a few months ago. Which role of hers you rate as her best?
Aruna left an inerasable expression in ‘Caravan’. She was fantastic in ‘Beta’. She has been an outstanding artiste in every role she got into. If you insist that I circle one, I would say ‘Caravan’.
Aruna ji made a very interesting comment in her interview to us. She said she used to mollify herself because she used to get upset that you waited for Dharmendra ji to come on the sets, and during that period, pyaar ho gaya…
(Laughs) No comments.
She also said that she is talking about your love story with her for the first time as back then, she didn’t know you were married and she’s talking only now because your first wife is no more…
Yes, that’s right. Can we switch to some other topic?
Many big actors have had two marriages…
Dekho, ye saari cheezen to hoti rehti hain hamare industry mein. We work together, exchange ideas… (trails off).
Do Aruna ji and you stay together?
Your daughter Karishma recently worked with Madhuri Dixit in ‘Fame Game’…
Yes, Karishma is very talented. She has worked as an Associate with Rahul Rawail, JP Dutta, Ali Abbas Zaffar and Kabir Khan.
Have your daughters accepted Aruna ji as family?
Aisa kabhi mauka hi nahi aaya.
But it must have been difficult for you to manage two homes?
It is neither easy nor difficult; it depends how you manage.
I think music is a very important part of a film. Again here too, there is lack of hard work. Plus, there is no situation in today’s films where a beautiful song is required. Music rooh se banta hai, tapasya chahiye. Aajkal to yahan se utha liya, wahan se utha liya… yeh bahut ho raha hai.