In Bollywood, one name has been synonymous with quality films and melodious music for nearly two decades–Venus Films. It has given us some entertaining films like Khiladi, Baazigar, Dhadkan, Yes Boss and Josh to name a few. Ratan Jain has been one of the main men responsible for the growth of the company. Now, Jain is excited to brings us yet another entertainer, Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam, which releases later this month.
In an exclusive tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte, Jain talks about the film, Venus' future projects and how the future of the industry looks.
Venus Films is back after a gap of two years with Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam. How does it feel?
It undoubtedly feels great.
Why such a long gap after your last film, Aap Ki Khatir (2006)?
The gap is simply because I didn't come across the right project to work on.
Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam is quite a wacky title. What is the film about? Also are you a big fan of the original Mughal-e-Azam?
Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam is basically a comedy. However, let me make it clear that my film has got nothing to do with Mughal-e-Azam. Everyone knows that Mughal-e-Azam is a classic and a great film, but as far as my film is concerned, Mughal-e-Azam is the name of a play which is performed by a theatre group.
How do you think the film has shaped up?
The film has shaped up as per my expectations and I feel very good about it.
Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat's magic worked big time in Pyar Ke Side Effects. Do you think they can recreate the same chemistry and magic all over again in this film?
I think they can better what they did in PKSE because this time they also have actors like Paresh Rawal and Kay Kay Menon for company.
Venus' films are known for its music. With Anu Malik at the helm this time around, how do you think the music of Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam has evolved?
The music of the film is already out and it is indeed very good. We have four songs and all the songs are really nice. There is a song called Jab… Pyar Kiya Toh which we have recreated, but it's a completely different and original composition. The songs are very contemporary.
How has been the experience working with Mallika Sherawat?
Mallika has been a thorough professional. She is really hard working and has performed her part very well in the film.
Sanjay Chhel is known to be a great writer. However his directorial ventures [Khoobsurat and Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa] haven't worked at the BO. Does that bother you?
Sanjay is really talented. He is directing a film after a long time. This time he has worked very hard on the script. Ultimately, anyone who knows to make a film can make a good film any time.
Venus usually distributes its own films, but this time you have tied up with Moser Baer. Why?
It all depends on the offer you get. I got a good offer from Moser Baer so I decided to sell the film to them for distribution. They are distributing it in India and overseas. However, the music rights stay with us.
Venus was one of the leaders in the 90's, but you have been keeping a low profile off late. Why so?
Not really… we have made a lot of good and successful films in the recent past like Garam Masala, Hulchul, etc… As I told you, one needs to have a good script before starting a film. Hence, we have been working on that.
You have been one of the veterans in this industry. Over the last 5-6 years, a lot of corporate companies have entered Bollywood and are pumping huge amounts of money. What do you have to say about this new and emerging trend?
It's a nice thing actually. The film industry is growing and has been receiving a lot of money because of them. They have shown a new path–be it in production or distribution–to people who were already in this business. So even the existing players need to gear up and be aware of the changes happening around them.
Where do you see the Hindi film industry headed in the next few years?
It is definitely going to grow a lot. The business is rising day by day–both in the domestic market as well as overseas–with new players entering the market and the growth of multiplexes. I am sure things are only going to get better in the near future.
The film industry also has seen a lot of new talented actors making their presence felt. Who has managed to draw your attention?
I happened to watch Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na recently and I must say Imran Khan is very promising. I haven't yet got a chance to watch Harman's film, but considering the fact that he has signed some big films, even his future looks really bright.
Recently, which films have you enjoyed?
Jaane Tu… Ya Jaana Na is a really nice film
With a lot of new and talented directors entering Bollywood, which one of them has managed to impress you?
There are a lot of them. Abbas Tyrewala really impressed with his debut film Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na and even Aamir was superb in his directorial debut Taare Zameen Par.
Your company is also producing the Mallika Sherawat-Irrfan Khan starrer Naagin–The Snake Woman to be directed by Hollywood-based Jennifer Lynch. Tell us about that film.
Yes, we are co-producing Naagin starring Mallika and Irrfan. Hollywood director Jennifer Lynch will direct it. The film will be made in Hindi and English. I was more interested in distributing the Hindi version, but now we have rights for both with us. We may have some Hollywood company release the film for us overseas. The film will go on floors by this month end, but will release sometime next year since special effects and postproduction will take nearly 3-4 months.
Let's talk about some of Venus Films' future projects. What's in store next?
I am starting a film with Priyadarshan starring Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal along with three heroines. The heroines are yet to be finalised. It's a comedy, but doesn't have any similarity or connection to the Hera Pheri series. Besides this, we have signed some directors like Sanjay Khanduri [Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local], but it's too early to talk about the film as its still in the scripting stages.
On a closing note, you had earlier announced plans of making a sequel to your super hit films Khiladi and Baazigar. What's the status on that front?
[Laughs] I am already talking to my directors [Abbas-Mustan] and they are working on finding the right script. Without the right script, we can't approach any of the actors. Very soon we will be announcing a project with Abbas-Mustan.