Filmmaker Priyadarshan, known for some of the most successful and exciting comedies, says he doesn’t laugh a lot in real life. The director, who directed Hindi comedy films in the 2000s like Hera Pheri, Hungama, Garam Masala and Malamaal Weekly, said he measures the humor in his films by the breadth of his smile.
“Creating the perfect situation for comedy is difficult and making people laugh even more. I make sure, first, if I can laugh or not. Because I don’t usually laugh (that much), I’m stingy when laughing. But once I know I can smile, I am assured in theaters that I can make people laugh. That’s how I measure it and I’ve been doing it for 39 years, ”Priyadarshan told PTI.
The director began his career in Malayalam cinema in the early 1980s and is credited with making some of the most acclaimed and entertaining comedies of the era, from his directorial debut Poochakkoru Mookkuthi (1984), Boeing Boeing to Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu among others.
Priyadarshan also made films in Tamil and Telugu, before turning to Hindi cinema with the 1992 film Muskurahat. It followed with the crime drama Gardish (1993) and the 1997 Anil Kapoor-starrer Virasat.
After a series of hard-hitting dramas, Priyadarshan moved on to comedies in Bollywood with cult Hera Pheri, starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty and continued to change the grammar of Hindi films in the genre with his trademark crazy humor. , almost always at the head of an ensemble.
“I made films in different languages in genres and realized that people are the same when it comes to humor. So I don’t mind the pressure to make people laugh, ”said the 64-year-old director.
However, Priyadarshan faces the challenge of making his comedies inventive. The filmmaker said he resists the temptation to repeat what worked and is always aware of the audience he is addressing.
“I never make comedy films for smart people. I do it for people who have a child in them. Writing a comedy is not easy. You have to keep in mind not to repeat what you have done before. The technique is the same, the plot changes. This is how I navigate. It’s tough, but once you get it right, you feel great. “
Priyadarshan is currently awaiting the release of his latest Bollywood comedy, Hungama 2, which premieres on Disney + Hotstar on July 23. The film will mark the filmmaker’s return to Hindi cinema following the 2013 action drama Rangrezz.
What drove Priyadarshan to return to his beloved genre was the lack of comedies in Bollywood.
“I thought it was a good time to go back to Hindi movies because I found there was a dearth of humorous movies. This is my kind, what I am accepted by the Hindi film fraternity and the public. Whenever I have tried humor, almost 90 percent of the times I have worked. So I thought about trying again.
Much like most of his Hindi comedies, which were remakes of his Malayalam films, Hungama 2 borrows its essence from the 1994 romantic comedy Minnaram. The director said the idea to adapt the film in Malayalam came from superstar Mammootty, who wondered why he had never remade the film for Hindi audiences.
“The original, while it has a lot of humor, is a tragedy at the end. So Mammootty suggested that I remove the tragedy piece and turn it into a completely fun movie. I then rewrote it nearly. 50 percent of the movie and added new characters, tweaked it. I treated it like I wrote the original Hungama, “he added.
With Hungama 2, the director reunited with Rawal, his longtime collaborator who has remained a constant in most of his comedies, from Hera Pheri, Hungama, Garam Masala, Hulchul to Chup Chup Ke among others.
Priyadarshan has said that Rawal’s character in Hungama 2 of an uncertain husband facing actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra is a different version of his popular role Hera Pheri – Baburao Ganpatrao Apte.
“Paresh suited the role so well. Even when I wrote, I thought of Baburao. I thought of a different kind of Baburao this time, who constantly doubts his beautiful and young wife. He misunderstands and complicates situations, “he added.
Hungama 2 also stars Meezaan and Pranitha Subhash.