Screenwriter Sumit Arora is reeling from the rave reviews and reception he's been receiving for his work in Dahaad, Guns And Gulaabs and more recently, Jawan. In this brief chat for The Free Press Journal, the writer shares brief anecdotes about his process, trusting his instincts and working with the best minds in showbiz.
Speaking about Jawan’s reception, Arora shares, “It’s literally like bringing in Diwali or Holi. I went for shows on the first day to a single screen theatre and at a multiplex in Mumbai and the atmosphere was nothing short of electrifying. People were clapping and whistling during the film. It's been an overwhelming phase for sure.”
Arora was one among several key technicians who were credited and acknowledged at the Jawan success meet by Khan. How did that experience feel? “It was a surreal experience and something I was witnessing for the first time. But that’s how Shah Rukh sir is. He is very giving and very inclusive and it spoke largely about how kind-hearted he is.”
Appraising us about his process, how crucial was it to pen the impactful dialogues of Jawan? “I was aware that Shah Rukh (Khan) sir is playing Azad/Vikram Rathore and Vijay (Sethupathi) sir is playing Kali Gaikwad. So, my task was to construct the dialogues as per the character arcs they were going to play. I had to be mindful about how they will speak their lines, in character.”
Many films meet a dismal fate at the box-office on account of bad writing. How instrumental is writing to make a good film? “Writing is essential to making a good film. I get paranoid when I’m told to write as per the availability of actors. I can work only if I am able to invest enough time to understand the beats of the film and design dialogues accordingly. That’s also why I’ve been okay with letting go of projects which I can tell will be compromised somewhere in the making. As a writer, you must listen to your gut.”
Arora first tasted massive success with the popularity of Raj and DK’s Stree in 2018. How does he view his journey in retrospect? “As a young 17-year-old who did not know English, when I came to Mumbai, never would I have imagined to have the opportunity of working with people, everyone aspires to work with. So, I’m just blessed and I know I’m only getting started.”
As we conclude, the writer shares his upcoming slate of projects he's currently working on. “For the timing, I’m writing Chandu Champion with Kabir Khan. There’s also Atlee’s VD18 with Varun Dhawan and the Indian adaptation of Citadel, which I can disclose for now,” he signs off.