Debutant director Abbas Tyrewala is sitting a week away from the release of his film Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. He has been a dialogue and screenplay writer for various films in the past including Asoka, Maqbool, Munnabhai MBBS, Main Hoon Na, Salaam Namaste and Welcome.
After writing for 12 consecutive years in some form or the other, Tyrewala is now facing the writer’s block. Hereon, Tyrewala intends to focus on directing movies and would prefer someone else writing for him.
Businessofcinema.com talks to the debutant director about the film, Aamir Khan and his future plans.
How did the story idea for Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na germinate?
I wanted to write a typical Hindi film. The whole idea was to have a nice clichéd movie with a hero-heroine, friendship-heartbreak-romance, and climax at the airport. However, as I was writing Jaane Tu, it went through its own journey and I picked up every cliché and turned it around to make it a non-cliché.
You have been associated with various successful films as a writer, so what made you decide that you want to finally set your eyes on direction?
I was facing the writer’s block. I had been writing for 12 years in some form or the other. I got to a point where unless I found something to motivate myself, I would have gone dry inside.
Going forward, what will it be like for you – writing, direction, or both?
Now, it will take a lot more to inspire me to write for others. When I started out, I worked with some fantastic directors. However, as time went by, I met less and less interesting people, or maybe my demands kept increasing.
Now I would want to tell stories on my own. As a director, I find it far more exciting to work for other people’s scripts. Therefore, I am going to try to look for scripts that are not from me, so all my energy goes into directing them rather than writing them.
How did your association with Aamir Khan come about for Jaane Tu…?
I had actually not approached Aamir Khan. When Jhamu Sughand was the producer for the film, Imran had already been cast as the hero. Therefore, at that time Aamir had read the film and told Imran that if ever due to any circumstances Jhamuji was not able to produce the film, he would like to do so.
It so happened that Jhamuji was not able to produce the film and Imran told me that we should approach Aamir. When I went to Aamir for the narration, he heard the script along with five songs of the film, which were already composed by A R Rahman, and Aamir agreed to produce the film.
How much do you think does Aamir’s association with Jaane Tu… leverage the movie?
Right now if people are interested in the film and you are talking to me, it is solely because it is an Aamir Khan Production film. Today as I am talking to you, it is not because you have seen my film and liked it. But if you talk to me after seeing the film and liking it, it will be because I have made the film.
People always have some expectation from Aamir Khan’s films. If people know so much about Jaane Tu… and are interested in watching the film, it is due to Aamir’s association and it has definitely leveraged the film.
Jaane Tu… is your first movie as a director as is Imran’s first movie as an actor. Did the fact about Imran being Aamir’s nephew pressurize you?
Any pressure would have come if we were making the film to launch Imran. But Aamir told me to not think about the fact that Imran is his nephew and that I had to launch him and make him a star. He wanted me to stay honest to the film, so there was no pressure.
Jaane Tu… is releasing with LoveStory 2050, which is also launching a new hero. Are you facing any anxieties?
I am excited that on one Friday the industry will get two new actors. There is a shortage of actors. We are making so many films with same six-eight actors. Even if the audiences are divided on the opening day or weekend, the films will still have a scope of doing well if they are well made films.
Our strategy with Jaane Tu… is not to cash in on the opening weekend. Even if people watch LoveStory 2050 first they can watch Jaane Tu… later, because it is going to be in theatres for a very long time.
How true is it that Aamir was over involved in editing and post production of Jaane Tu…?
While the film was being shot, Aamir came on the sets only twice, once on the mahurat day to wish us luck and the second time while he was traveling in his car he stopped to enquire, which film was being shot and discovered it was his own film.
Aamir has not ghost directed this film. When I was directing Jaane Tu…, Aamir was directing Taare Zameen Par. In fact, I was a little miffed that Aamir came on the sets only twice.
However, he assured me that he would play his part as a producer for marketing and distributing the film. When we went into post-production and editing, Aamir was a lot more involved. And, since I was sitting for a movie edit for the first time it helped me a lot to have someone experienced help me out. We had our individual opinions, but they were sorted out very amicably.