He started off as an actor with Aashiqui, Khiladi, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Pehla Nasha, Ghulam and Baadshah and went on to direct films like Oops!, Fareb and Tom, Dick & Harry. Deepak Tijori has come a long way and is now focussing on direction. He talks to SANGEETA YADAV about his next release Do Lafzon Ki Kahaani, his ire against corporates & how he dealt with the difficult times
- How did Do Lafzon Ki Kahani (DLKK) happen?
It’s an official remake of the Korean film Always. The writer, Girish Dhamija, is heavily influenced by Korean cinema and Always caught his attention. We got first-time producers Dhiraj Shetty and Avinaash V Rai who are my gymming buddies and passionate about their own ventures. Everything fell into place.
- How is this one different from other love stories?
It’s an unconventional love story and the characters are quite similar to what you saw in Amitabh Bachchan’s Kala Pathar, a man who was an introvert and damaged from inside but at the same time had his own way of conveying love. Suraj (Randeep Hooda) and Jenny (Kajal Aggarwal) are head over heels in love but never proclaim it. This is a love story without the characters saying ‘I love you’ to each other. But you can feel the love rather than hear it being expressed.
- Were Randeep & Kajal first choices?
Yes, Randeep was my only choice. After watching him inHighway, I was convinced that only he would do justice to the role. He plays a hurt introvert. For Jenny, we took time hunting the right actress. We wanted someone neither a newcomer nor a superstar. Kajal fitted the bill perfectly. She was so much into the role that while shooting for a south Indian film, she called me up and said: ‘I practice being blind while I am singing and dancing on the sets here’. (She plays a blind person in DLKK). That was the kind of dedication she had.
- What was DLKK’s biggest challenge?
This film is probably the first love story where you don’t see lip syncing in any of the six songs. I had to portray the emotions through the lyrics. I had no choreographer and I shot the music like a part of the film and not like other films which showcase actors suddenly breaking into song and dance in a desert or the backwaters. I felt that if Americans can get away with no lip syncing and still convey a love story, why can’t we? Why can’t we have the music which doesn’t require actors to pretend to be singing and yet convince people of true love?
- Why was the film delayed?
It was supposed to be released on March 4 and Eros was earlier doing the production and distribution for us. At the last moment, they fell out with the producers. Then, Jayantilal Gada’s Pen Productions came on board and now the film is all set to release on June 10. Something similar happened with my previous filmFox which couldn’t see the light of day. The shifting of dates and production company gave me sleepless nights. I’m scared to work with corporate houses now.
- What went wrong with Fox?
That film, starring Arjun Rampal and Sunny Deol, was slated to release in 2009. Suddenly Zee Motion Pictures were shutting down and they threw my film into the market along with Vinay Shukla’s Mirch. It was a big shocker for me that a corporate house could decide the fate of my film as per their rule book. No thought was spared for the creative efforts put into making the film. Nobody cares. Corporate houses are ruled by the account books and treat a film like a product. Whenever they feel like it, they dump the product like waste.
- Doesn’t all this impact you?
Yes, it does. That was the time I started doubting my decision to stay away from acting and get into direction. I am coming back after seven years with DLKK. It’s been like half an exile for me. That was one of the reasons why I took time to return to directing films. But again this happened to me with Eros for DLKK. I feel, in the end, whatever happens, happens for the best.
(The article was published in The Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/corporates-dont-spare-a-thought-for-creative-efforts.html)