The Ace of Bollywood Industry, Amitabh Bachchan, is all set for the movie TE3N, directed by Ribhu Dasgupta. After a Bankable performance in ‘Piku’ and ‘Wazir’, Amitabh Bachchan has manifested the truth that success has no age. The movie TE3N is an official remake of South Korean movie Montage for which copyrights were purchased by producer Sujoy Ghosh. What is the notion of Amitabh Bachchan about this movie? How was the experience working with such great actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan? What are the views of Amitabh Bachchan on modern Film Making? Let’s get into the epic conversation with the exuberant, Amitabh Bachchan.
As we know, you always pick movies which have great impact factor on the audience, putting a smile on their face while they are leaving the theater. So what is the integral component of the movie TE3N which attracted you the most?
The chief factor which sparked me to work for this movie was the storyline. The concept of this movie is charismatic and when it is jumbled with such great actors and the finest directors touch is added, this makes it an excellent Movie to watch. The shooting was in Kolkata and I have the soft corner for Kolkata. This made me more comfortable with the film and the situation. Working with Nawazuddin and watching him perform scenes was a visual treat to me. So overall this film was the best fit.
Vidya Balan, who played the role of your mother in ‘Paa’ is now working as a police inspector in the movie ‘TE3N’. So how was the transition of the role played by Vidya Balan in the film with you?
The film industry is very uncanny. You never know who plays which role. Our responsibility is to bestow what the character wants. A person who is playing a role of the friend might be a villain in the next movie. So, when it comes to Vidya, I cannot assure that in the next film, she might play the role of my Girlfriend. There’s nothing to crib about since this is the part of my job which I’m doing since years. I am obliged to be comfortable with her in the role, since what script demands, we offer.
Since you have got such a huge fanbase on twitter, do you think that social media plays a crucial role in a celebrity’s life as well as influences the fans a lot?
Previously we used to wait for fan letters to come, to get the reaction. We never had so many opportunities in the past for communicating with our fans. The only channel through which we used to communicate with our fans in the past was if we went out to a public place. There was nothing known as a promotion in the 70s. We never had this kind of opportunities. One or two magazines used to exist at that time. Through Social media, we can open up to millions and millions of our fans and admirers and if they want to talk to us then I feel that we should interact as well. Someone once came to me and told me to develop a website of myself since there were more than 50 fake websites running on my name. So I started writing blogs. The response started increasing at an exponential rate. So by now I know more than 100 people by name, by face. This led to enormous interaction with the fans which is great. This has become a community; they even fight over arguments but at the end their main objective is that they admire me a lot. So, as a whole, I totally agree that the social network is a boon to the Celebrity-fan interaction.
Do you get any inspiration or suggestions from your fanbase which helps you improve yourself?
Yes, they have some of the remarks, likes, dislikes, which is beyond comprehension. There are some brilliant minds, who will look at the film and give a criticism which I would not mind to accept it positively. I have many discussions on my blog about the ideas or the film which is coming up. They give me such impartial suggestions which I always take into consideration while moving ahead, since, at the end whatever we do, it is for the people and their opinion matters to us. Along with this, we also discuss the ongoing issues and we debate and It is so much fun to interact with them. They point out minute details of the acting and dialogues which we do, and getting reviews and comments from them feels great. I think it’s good to know how people feel about you but taking it positively is what matters the most.
At times, the current generation of filmmakers goes overflow on marketing. Their Main agenda nowadays is marketing. What do you feel about this? Do these filmmakers need to spend such huge money on marketing?
There is a praise for that as well as criticism. But you have to understand the basic fundamental behind the principle of marketing. There is obviously a big reason why directors/producers of such films concentrate a lot on marketing. In our times, films used to run for 25 years. Nowadays, films run only for 3 days and you have the money to recover. In order to make profit and viability for this film, you need to take charge of publicity. The attention span of this generation is very short. So it is become necessary to have a huge marketing strategy. The budget of the film nowadays is very large. You see a Shahrukh or a Salman film, the first-day collection is 40-50 crore and if you see the films which I do, the collection for 1st day is 3-4crore. This is a fact which I happily accept. Spending such a great amount of Marketing on a film which won’t be able to earn that much is illogical. Therefore, such films need that kind of marketing. You need to market the film proportional to its budget.
In the 20th century, digitization has taken control over the film industry. The film-making is not the same it used to be. What do you think, how far it has reached and lucrative for the Film Industry?
The filming which used to happen in 70s was on a very low budget basis. So we have to be perfectly correct in one take. We have never given an opportunity to do better in the next take. The moment a shot is completed the scene is cut on the spot to save camera rolls. Now we have the digital revolution in film-making. We shot this film with a 50-day schedule in 33 days’ span, using 5 digital cameras with 15-20 minutes long shot. This led to a very fantastic atmosphere in acting. Even if something goes wrong, you can immediately correct yourself or the scene, without switching the camera off. This is a huge benefit to Bollywood. The result of digitization in Film-industry is phenomenal.
Interview By Aarti Saxena, Journalist, Mumbai.