By Subhash K Jha
Sunny Deol is very upset with the way Subhash Ghai and his production house Mukta Arts have marketed Right Yaa Wrong.
Says Sunny, “It was always a good film. Mukta Arts has not been fair to it. They’ve publicized it like a small producer would have. For a large production house they really didn’t seem to know what to do with the film. It was all talk talk talk.
There were so many meeting and so many plans. But nothing happened. I’m fed up of all this empty talk. Now I only want to work on projects with a clear plan of action.”
Sunny feels Ghai was not interested in the film. “He didn’t believe in Right Ya Wrong. And he was surrounded by advisers who were constantly trying to bisect and dissect the film. Filmmaking may be a team effort. But you can’t have a team of people always providing inputs and advice. That only causes chaos and confusion. The film has to finally go by one man’s vision. And that man is the director.”
Apparently Ghai didn’t allow the director Neerraj Pathak to do his work. “At the end of the day it’s his vision that determines the end-product. You’ve to let the director do his job. Fortunately or unfortunately I’m not the kind of person who interferes beyond a point. I can’t sit and talk talk talk. I’m a man of action.”
Sunny accuses Ghai of releasing the film at the wrong time. “They kept saying they’d release the film at the right time. Finally they released it on the day the IPL matches started. How is that the right date? The truth is, they had lost interest in the film.
But when they held trials people liked the film. Suddenly they decided to release it with haphazard publicity at a time when I’m shooting in Punjab. They were earlier supposed to release in December, then January…what was I supposed to do?
Give up shooting and run around doing the publicity (for Right Ya Wrong) when they wanted me to? All big talk. The world is filled with big talkers.”
Sighs Sunny, “It’s a changed industry. Nothing works the way it used to. A few films click, and that’s it. I’m not interested in any kind of politics.
And the directors… we need good directors. The directors we (the Deols) have given a break to have run away after working with us. Everyone is into their own kind of cinema, not necessarily sensible cinema.”
Is Sunny talking about Raj Kumar Santoshi? “He was supposed to do a project with me again. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. He will do films only where the economics are to his advantage. He doesn’t have the balls to make the cinema he believes in unless the money is right.
Who’s doing the work they believe in? Imtiaz Ali made Socha Na Tha with our cousin Abhay Deol. Now that film is being remade over and over again in different packages. Anyway if I was once bitten and twice shy I’d be called an emotional man.
But if I was twice bitten and thrice shy then I’d be called a foolish man. Santoshi or anyone else make films wherever there’s money. What happened to creativity? I wonder! Filmmakers follow Friday trends.”
Sunny’s second film as director The Man has been delayed for some time. Explains Sunny, “There’re many reasons for it. It’s a big-budget film. We’re trying to find buyers for it. The film is 50 percent complete.”
Sunny is happy with the way their family film Yamla Pagla Deewana is shaping up. “It’s a great story. And the film will rock. My dad, my brother and I are shooting in Punjab. They treat us like family here. As for my dad, nobody can reach the place where he is.”
Sunny is very proud of his cousin Abhay Deol. “He has the guts to do the kind of cinema he believes. Just like all the other Deols.”
Subhash Ghai Reacts: “Mukta Arts is the worldright controllers and distributors of Right Yaaa Wrong. We weren’t able to sell the film anywhere. There were no buyers. The set-up was not saleable. Our job was to give money for the film’s making and therefore we were the most insecure people in the project.
Sunny Saab’s reactions have to do with the way the film has been received. Why didn’t he say all these things before release? I had gone to Sunny’s home at least six times.
We wanted to release it initially on November 30. But the stars, and I’m talking not just about Sunny but Irrfan, Konkona and Esha Koppikhar, had no time to promote the film. As far as my intervention in concerned, the director Neeraj Pathak himself came to me to ask for advice. I only advised him to increase the film’s tempo.
Is it a crime to give suggestions for a film where there’re so many financial stakes? The film was started when there was a boom…big fruits were laden on the tree. When it was released the tree had dried up. All the cast and crew reaped the fruits.
We the film’s world financiers were left with no money. We sold the entire overseas territory for Rs20 lakhs. We spent 1.5 crores on the publicity. But the actors were not available for the publicity. Sunny said he’s too shy to do publicity.
Look at Shah Rukh and Aamir how they promote their films. They hold the their producers’ hands and take them everywhere for a film’s publicity. Instead of publicity for Right Yaaa Wrong Sunny left for Punjab to shoot his film. Please don’t blame Mukta Arts.
Now why is Sunny getting agitated? He’s a good boy. But he’s innocent about the changing marketing strategy of cinema. Sunny needs to get real.”