Interview

Honey Irani remembers Yash Chopra fondly, says he had the guts to do what he wanted


The screenwriter of Lamhe (1991), Kya Kehna (2000) and Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000) lamented the state of filmmaking and how films are being made today. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

In our exclusive interview with Cinestaan.com, Honey Irani talked about a return to filmmaking. Apart from discussing current cinema, Irani revealed a project that was dear to her, that she hadn’t gotten a chance to bring to the screen.

“I have a script which is called ‘Purdah’. It’s very close to me, it’s a Muslim setting and it’s based in the 1960s and early 1970s. But everybody is scared, arre nahin yaar, aaj ke time pe yeh story nahin chalegi [no way, in these times, this story will not work]! I don’t believe that. I think if you make a good film which [has] a good story; you make it with conviction, it will work. Why won’t it? Bajirao Mastani (2015) bhi chali na [Didn’t Bajirao Mastani work?]? Kitne log jaante the Bajirao ko? [How many people knew Bajirao?] [Or] Jodhaa Akbar for that matter? Maybe someday I’ll produce it and make it myself. Now I’m trying to save up for that and really do it my way,” she said.

Honey Irani wants to return to filmmaking after a long break

Irani also felt there are few out there in the industry taking risks when it comes to films. She talked about the late filmmaker Yash Chopra, who she felt had that conviction to make the films he wanted to. Irani stated, “We’ve done three-four films together and [I had] been very close to him. One person I’ve seen who had the guts do what he wanted. If he was here today, I wouldn’t have had a problem with ‘Purdah’, he would have said I’m making it. He was that kind of a person. Always trying to do something against the flow.”

Furthermore, she lamented the state of filmmaking and how films are being made today. “How many people have that today? Everybody is only worried, ‘Isko lelo toh mera itna ho jayega, opening achchi lag jayegi [If we take this star, then I will get a big opening for my film], nobody is interested in what you’re offering. What is your content?  ‘Arre, mere paas Aamir, arre mere paas Salman hai. Acha toh yeh bhi daal do, woh bhi daal do.’ [I have Aamir Khan, I have Salman Khan, Fine, then add this and that.] They are not interested in who suits the role. That is the sad part. It’s become more commercial now. Naturally, I can understand that you’re involving more money, you’re paying to the stars, you’re doing this, everything has become double. But you can still do things.”

She cited Bajirao Mastani filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali as someone who was still making the films he wanted to make. “Sanjay Leela Bhansali still makes the film he wants to make. Chalti hain, nahin chalti hain [It works, it doesn’t work] is a different thing, but at least he has the passion of making the film. That passion I feel is lacking nowadays and that also could be the reason why we are not getting to see good movies, because it’s become a number game. There are people who are making good films also, so if you give them more money to make, they’ll make a better film and at least with content. It will do better also,” she explained.