Filmmaker-actor Jackky Bhagnani is not someone who believes in churning out mediocre content. One of the youngest and dynamic producers in the country, Bhagnani is a man on a mission, which is to make movies, that resonate with the entire country, irrespective of the rich diversity. In a candid conversation with us, Bhagnani discusses his upcoming slate of movies and his penchant for making massy entertainers.
There are several people who have started believing that the Hindi film industry, Bollywood is slowly losing out to cinema from different regions, especially to the movies being made in South. You thoughts?
We need to make good commercial films that resonate with the whole of India. I take the success of last few films as a great sign of revival of cinema as a mass entertainment medium. All kinds of audiences enjoying one particular film is actually great. Common audience is telling us something and we must listen. It’s not about North or South, it’s about coming up with good quality entertainers.
How do you approach a particular project, and how do you deal with there any pressure of expectations being such a young producer?
I want to produce content that is universal and appeals to the larger geography and demography. I want to put in effort in improving this genre. Mass universal film doesn’t mean badly written and lazily produced content that rides primarily on the star pull of the cast. If you watch Pushpa, each and every scene has been written with so much of craft. I want to create well written, well produced commercial entertainers that have really good music. Action, comedy, drama and even genres like larger than life historical and mythological content. I come from the school of mass entertainment. Not so long ago my father and lots of other Bollywood producers were catering to the entire Indian cinema going audience. Of course, that content needs to evolve and match the expectations of the newer generation of audience. I want to do that. This is my vision.
Your upcoming slate of films is quite diverse, we believe. For instance: Ganapath is in the action genre, while Bade Miyan Chote Miyan is an action- comedy. What’s your take on making mass entertainers for a theatrical experience, given the kind of consumption on OTT, and making movies which will only work in theatres?
If there is anything we’ve learnt over the years, it’s that the audience is hungry for variety, for different content and this need is increasing at a rapid pace. My responsibility as a producer is to recognise that need, and cater to it. As far as the discussion around theatrical content vs OTT content is concerned, great content will work irrespective of the platform. Theatres offer that added layer of an experience, so while planning a mass entertainer for the big screen, one must always give audiences an enticing reason to opt for a theatrical experience.
As a producer, how do you maintain a balance between business and art? How does the fact that you have been an artiste yourself, help you in toeing this line ?
We are entertainers. If that requires art and craft, which it does, then we are artistes also. But the prime objective is to entertain. Also, audience is never wrong. We can’t bore or confuse the audience. There is a lot of art that goes into giving the audience a very engaging and very entertaining time, and we want to do that.
Coming from a strong pedigree of massy commercial entertainers, are there any other plans to revive any classic Hindi-language films?
Yes, there are plans to revive a lot more franchises. I will only be able to disclose these announcements at the right time. I’m really excited and look forward to contemporising them. With our recent learning, we hope to have them appeal to a wide audience.