Maverick director R Balki has always offered cinegoers unique cinematic offerings. His latest film Chup: Revenge of the Artist stars Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol and Shreya Dhanwanthary in pivotal roles. It is about a serial killer on a murderous spree of critics. The filmmaker recently met us to introspect our review and exchange ideas of our feedback on his film.
The film also opened to mixed reviews from the audiences as well. When asked how he took the criticism, he shares, “I haven’t read a single review on the film. For this particular film, it would have been foolish of me to read the reviews. I am very clear. I can’t expect much from anyone, however a critic is evolved. After its digital release, a lot of people are watching it because of the obvious state of our films in theatres. In a cop film, we don’t say it’s cops bashing. I know it’s a critic’s job to give an opinion. It is very easy to do political commentary on a politician.”
He adds, “Chup: Revenge of the Artist is the most personal film of my career so far. I am a little objective when it comes to my films. This film I would have made exactly the same even 20 years down the line since I set out to say exactly what I said now. I didn’t set out to bash the critics, I wanted to tell a story of one person, who is an artiste. While shooting my films, I am vulnerable but while promoting it, I have to sound mature enough. If someone would have said something about Cheeni Kum back then, I would have felt the same but not today since I have evolved.”
He further reveals that Chup... is his only film that is straight from his heart. “Chup: Revenge of the Artist is straight from my heart, rest of the films are films. In fact, I never read any of my reviews. I knew that I screwed up Shamitabh and I overdid it but if someone would say the same about Padman, I would laugh it out. I am really proud of the film. Chup… had to be made in this way so no matter what people say, it doesn’t matter to me. There’s no harm in being harsh but if critics are influencing others by their opinion, it’s unfair since it’s a responsible job. No one decides to make a bad film,” he explains.
Opening up further about his views on critics, he avers, “I was fully aware that when critics will come to review the film. They tend to connect or relate with themselves which can lead them to believe that it’s a personal attack but my film wasn’t this. I didn’t spoof anyone in my film. This is the first time I am not angry when any critic trashed the film.”
On a parting note, he opens up on the projects he has done in the past and the trivia attached to them. “Paa, Padman and Chup… are three films which I made exactly the way I wanted to. Since Cheeni Kum was my first film, and it was with Amitabh Bachchan, I engineered a couple of things and I know that. I always say that I enjoy watching films but I don’t enjoy making them, it’s a painful process,” he signs off.
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