Your reaction to the reviews that are coming in for Chup?
I’m very surprised when a critic likes a film because, it’s very tough to like a film where you’re being killed, you know, (laughs). I really applaud some of the people who really liked it and what I’m really overwhelmed by is the people’s reaction. Because they don’t belong to anything and they’ve enjoyed it, and a lot of the people in the industry have enjoyed the film too. So I am really touched by their response because I made it as a small little film, which will possibly open up a new topic for conversation.
How important is box office collection for you?
We were very clear, of course, box office is the most important thing. You have to recover the money that you have invested. Nobody should lose monies because of somebody’s artistic pursuits. So we’ve designed the whole film also in a very tight economical way. So we’ve already finished our digital lock in and our satellite lock in. And it should be very safely covering everything that we’ve put into the film. Theatrical was always supposed to be a small addition to that. I think ‘Chup’ will have a healthier and slightly longer run. It’s not going to be a 25 crore weekend but it will casually keep going. The audience is very selective for this kind of film, so I don’t expect it to rake in big numbers, but I do expect it to make small little numbers for long.
Dulquer has massively transformed in the film, how would you describe him as an actor?
Dulquer is an understated world volcano. You think he’s not going to be the dramatic actor, but he adds so much power to his scenes, in his way of doing things. And I wanted exactly that kind of a personality to do this film.
Do you wish to take the narrative of ‘Chup’ ahead with a sequel?
I never like to take a narrative forward, ever. I finish the narrative to the best. At least till today, I’ve not wanted to kind of take any narratives forward. Because I don’t believe in that, unless there is a fantasy story or there’s a larger than life kind of thing, which can be a franchise.
You said that you felt the pain of negative reviews, what is your take on the cancel culture that trends these days?
I just feel it’s a meaningless argument right now because the good films, the good stuff will do well. People smell good content from day one, they want to be engaged, the rest is all wonderful activity which is happening around it. If the film we are talking about is interesting, then people will watch it.
If you could shed some light on ‘Ghoomer’ with Abhishek Bachchan?
‘Ghoomer’ is a film which is based on the narrative that ‘self-pity is a waste of time’. It’s about somebody who can easily get picked out of the dump, but does not indulge in self pity and rises. And it of course has Amitabh Bachchan too.