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Our industry is lazy when it comes to writing scripts: Vikramaditya Motwane

The filmmaker was speaking at the India Film Project festival in Mumbai.

Keyur Seta

Hindi cinema has been known for regularly coming up with love stories and romantic films. During Vikramaditya Motwane's interactive session today (13 October) at the India Film Project, an annual content creation festival held in Mumbai, he was asked when the overdose of romantic films by directors like Karan Johar and actors like Shah Rukh Khan would come to an end.  

"The short answer is that it's public demand," Motwane responded. "Such films work at the box office. Obviously there is an audience that watches this kind of movies. That might not be you. The great thing today is that you have an option to not go to the movie theatre. You can watch what you want on Netflix or Amazon. That is the reality."

The director, known for films like Udaan (2010), Lootera (2013), Trapped (2017) and Bhavesh Joshi: Superhero (2018), had the audience in splits when he said, "The specific thing about Loveyatri (2018) is that the film hasn't worked. It's a fact, so you won't see another one like that. But Stree (2018) has and we should see more films like that."

Motwane believes the basic problem today is that filmmakers don't invest time in writing. Elaborating, he said, "We will not spend money or time and sit on a script. It's a typical thing. You want to make a film? Write in three months, shoot in one year and edit in three months.

"It should be exactly the opposite. You should be writing it for a year, shoot for three months and edit for six months.

"We took a year and a half to write [the Netflix original series] Sacred Games. That's the way the work is done. It's done on the script. But our industry is just lazy."

Going by the current working style, he feared the industry might go back to the state of affairs in the 1980s. "It's like the classic thing of the 1980s. I hope we don't go that way.

"It was the irony of all ironies. Salim-Javed are the last bunch of writers whose names would be on posters to sell a film. It was a big deal.

"They made Sholay (1975) and after that all producers felt we don't need scripts. We just need those little things these guys have created. You need a gangster, villain and this girl. Cinema went for a toss, until the romantic films came and revived it."

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India Film Project