Aakash Kaushik began his Bollywood career as a writer with F.A.L.T.U. in 2011. His latest film Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, has struck gold at the box office, and both the audience and critics have showered praises on its writing. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive conversation.
When asked about the challenges he faced while writing the film’s story, as the first film is iconic, he shares, “Well, it felt more exciting than challenging to me. I am a big fan of Bhool Bhulaiyaa. When I got the chance to write for Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, I was excited. Having said that, I was well aware of the responsibility that I was tasked with and worked extremely hard on the script. I was constantly thinking about how to improve the script till the last moment until the cameras rolled because the expectations were sky-high. There was excitement paired with hard work. That’s how I went about writing the story.”
Comedy is the toughest genre. Opening up about working with director Anees Bazmee, he explains, “I feel that the tone of comedy keeps changing as time passes. Like something which was considered hilarious five years ago wouldn’t sound funny today. You need to keep changing the tone of comedy, and the great thing about Anees bhai is that he’s the legend of comedy. When I was writing the film, we both agreed that the comedy should be situational as well as new age. He gave me a couple of fantastic ideas, and I learned a lot from him. You can see that the comedy in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is situational. Since it’s a horror-comedy about a man talking to a ghost, I could create a lot of funny situations. It was easy to make comedy around that.”
When quizzed about the lack of horror-comedy genre in Bollywood, he states, “If you think about it, Bhool Bhulaiyaa was the first major horror-comedy in the Hindi film industry. Before that, there was one film I remember which was Bhoot Bungla (1965) with Mehmood sir and RD Burmanji. I enjoyed it as a kid. Over the years, we’ve only had a handful of horror comedies in our industry. But I think that’s the best part about it, as the genre isn’t over-exposed, and the canvas is much bigger. While writing Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, I had the liberty of doing things that were not done yet. That was quite positive for me.”
Talking about his favourite genre to work on, he reveals, “I don’t want to get stuck to a particular genre. I want to tell different stories. Whenever I feel there’s a story that’s worth telling, I get interested. It doesn’t have to be a specific genre like action, horror, comedy, etc. The story has to interest me. If you see my lineup, all my future projects are of different genres.”
He concludes by spilling the beans on his upcoming projects. “After Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, there’s a film called Thank God with Ajay Devgn sir, Sidharth Malhotra, and Rakul Preet Singh directed by Indra Kumarji. That’s going to be my next release. It’s a very different film with a beautiful message about life. I can’t talk much about it since it’s still in the pipeline. It’ll be out in a couple of months, so you’ll get to know more about it then. There’s also a film with John Abraham and Riteish Deshmukh later this year which will be an action-comedy. I’m also working on other projects, but unfortunately, I’m not at the liberty to speak about them as of now. A lot of interesting stuff is happening, and I feel quite blessed,” he signs off.