He’s the guy behind the ‘jadu ki jhappi’ and ‘Gandhigiri’, which influenced the entire nation. Shy, soft spoken and extremely humble, he’s a specialist when it comes to films with off-the-wall humor and genuine heart.
People called him an idiot when he decided to make his debut film Munna Bhai MBBS, however both his films Munna Bhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munna Bhai became the country’s biggest box office hits. He’s all set to prove his ‘idocracy’ once again with his forthcoming film 3 Idiots.
Businessofcinema.com spoke to the man who thinks from his heart and whose films reveal the wisdom of a truly great storyteller. Here’s Rajkumar Hirani for you…
After making 2 Munnabhai films how difficult or easy was it to get out of that mindset to make a film like 3 Idiots?
Actually I didn’t see it as a big difference because every film that you do is a new film or a new beginning. It’s like a new battle to encounter.
Are you nervous about the film or excited that it’s coming out?
I am very excited because this film is coming after a gap of three years and I am waiting to see the reaction of the people.
We’ve heard a lot about the test screenings that have been held for the movie. What has the response been?
The response has been good. We’ve shown the film to a phenomenal spectrum of people from students to parents etc. I am happy with the kind of response we have got.
What was the most difficult thing about shooting the film?
The whole shooting has been fairly easy except for the Ladakh schedule. We had to shoot twice in Ladhak since there was heavy snowfall, we had to wait almost a year to shoot there. Also because of the high altitude most of our crew members fell ill. Bedsides that it’s been a great experience shooting this film.
How did you decide on the cast of the film? Why Aamir Khan who’s 40 plus, why not one of the younger breed of actors?
I really like the younger breed of actors like Ranbir, Imran and I did think of them while casting but I needed three actors who would look like friends. I went on a hunt but I could not find a suitable group of youngsters. I am very happy that I cast actors like Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman who are great actors and at the same time they look convincing as friends.
Aamir does look really convincing as a young 20-something guy… how did he manage to look so young?
He changed his diet and he stopped going to the gym so he cut down on muscle and he started doing a lot of sports instead. Other than that he has worked a lot on his look and expressions.
How did the title of the movie – 3 Idiots come about?
Whenever I think of a title I feel that the title of a film should be such that it draws attention, people should be curious about it and that is exactly what this title does.
Who according to you are the 3 Idiots behind the camera?
According to me, Idiots are the sanest guys in the world. They are the ones who follow their heart and are brilliant people so the three idiots behind the camera is my writer Abhijat Joshi, my producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and cinematography C.K. Muraleedharan who has done an excellent job.
What according to you are the 3 most important things that a filmmaker initially needs?
I feel that the most important thing needed to make a good film is a good script, once you have a good script then half you battle is won.
Why is it that your film gives a message that education and earning a degree isn’t everything, is that your own inner feeling?
It’s something that I feel strongly about and I believe in. I am not saying that education is not important, it is very important but at the same time it is important to be a good human being. Also today education has become like a race for marks.
When can we expect the third movie in the Munnabhai series? How has the script shaped up?
We are still working on the script of the third movie in the Munnabhai series, it’s called Munnabhai Chale America. We are working out a good script and only once we are convinced of the script will we start the film.
Will the cast be the same as the other Munnabhai movies?
Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi will be constant while we are not sure about the rest of the cast right now.
Will you be directing movies for other banners besides Vinod Chopra Films?
Yes I am open to working with other banners provided the script is good and it excites me. Considering the fact that your previous films have been a huge success, what are your expectations from 3 Idiots?
I hope that people like the film and take something from the film.