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HomeENTERTAINMENTManoj Sharma: Either realistic or big-budget films are working now

Manoj Sharma: Either realistic or big-budget films are working now

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Film director Manoj Sharma feels that currently, in cinema, there is a very wide gap in terms of film making — either realistic films are working, or big-budget fantasy films backed by a good story-line.

The UPite says, “The scenario has changed completely. On one side we have sensible and realistic cinema like Badhai Ho and on the other side we have larger-than-life films like KGF, RRR and Pushpa… which are backed by a good story-line. Both work in their space and are doing well. Middle path wali masala film ka zamana khatam ho gaya! But, if we make big-budget commercial films with big stars but it is not backed with a good story then too it won’t work. Audience has become very sensible; you can’t fool them with showbiz.”

After being assistant director in films like Tahelka and Policewala Gunda, he turned director with Altaf Raza’s hit song Tum To Tehre Pardesi and has directed multiple films.

However, Sharma feels that this trend too will change. “I have been part of 18 films so far and have witnessed the changing taste of the audience. We need to be in a realistic zone now. Pehle jaisa nahi chalega ki maa ne awaaz di aur beta darwaza tod kar kahin se bhi aa gaya. Now, we have to justify it in a realistic space. Today everyone wants to make films like Pushpa but trust me this trend too will change in the next two-three years!”

His next release has been shot on the outskirts of Lucknow after the second lockdown with Ganesh Acharya and other actors.

“The dance-based film Dehati Disco is my fifth film that I have shot in UP. It can be my turning point as a director as is picture main mitti ki khuhboo hai! Besides, I have shot Chal Guru Hoja Shuru in my hometown Khurja, Prakash Electronics in Agra, Sharmaji ki Lag Gai in Varanasi-Kanpur and Khali Bali in Lucknow. Time to shoot films on sets is a passé, everyone wants to now shoot in real locations and audiences connect with it. I am currently writing my next film Calling Shiva which is a story of a Kashmiri Pandit and we want to shoot it in Delhi and Kashmir.”

He has also completed the film O2 that was shot in the rural pockets of Ludhiana. “It’s a story of a hospital on what happened at very small places when the entire country was battling the second wave of the pandemic and there was a shortage of oxygen. It has newcomers and the supporting cast has Manoj Joshi, Pankaj Berry and others. We have planned a digital release for it.”

The filmmaker plans to release Khali Bali, starring Dharmendra, Rajniesh Duggal, Vijay Raj and Madhu, in August. “Though it was shot more than two years back, it’s a horror-comedy and that genre works if the content is good. Thereafter, I plan to make a sequel of Sharmaji…as it did very well on OTT. We intend to call it Vermaji Ki Lag Gai and scale up the production.”

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