Mahesh Manjrekar: 'I Enjoyed Sandeep Reddy Vanga's 'Animal'; Looking Forward To 'Animal Park' Now!'

Mahesh Manjrekar: 'I Enjoyed Sandeep Reddy Vanga's 'Animal'; Looking Forward To 'Animal Park' Now!'

In his free-wheeling chat with FPJ, the veteran actor-director decodes why content alone is going to rule in the truest sense of the word!

Sachin TUpdated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 05:43 PM IST
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Riding high on the success of his latest Marathi endeavour 'Juna Furniture', Mahesh Manjrekar maintains that he makes films only when he is moved by situations and circumstances around him. “I can’t make a film unless I am angry about the state of affairs. The events and the situations as indeed the circumstances must affect me deeply for me to make films on the same. I have to be convinced about a topic that has not been dealt with before. Otherwise, why would I make a film?

Social relevance continues to be the forte and a strong motif in my creations. I can't make romantic movies and I envy those who make grand romantic sagas at such massive scales, but as a maker I don't gravitate towards that (genre)," he confesses. "When I act for other directors, I don’t interfere in their craft. If my director wants me to ham, I will do exactly that! Because that’s how he has envisioned my character in his film and I have been paid for that. My wife often complains that I earn money from acting and put that money in making my own films which ultimately don’t make money (laughs!).

Manjrekar who has given cinematic gems such as Astitva, Vaastav, Virudh, Kaaksparsh (Marathi), Natasamrat (Marathi), to name a few, believes that content is the ultimate king more than ever before. "Today why would anybody come out of the comfort of their houses where they have the luxury of watching more than 5,000 films across many genres and multiple languages right in the comfort of their air-conditioned spaces at the press of a button? So, even when I write a film I sometimes reject my own ideas if I feel this is something that doesn't have an impact or it has been seen before.

Why would anybody lose that comfort and come to the theatre unless you are offering something new absolutely differently?" he poses pertinent questions. Manjrekar sheds light on the unpredictable palette of the cinegoers and how content creation and its success has become even more difficult to decode.

"Typical films showcasing a boy meeting a girl dancing around the trees are not going to work anymore. Same goes for the action films. I have seen some supreme action in so many Hollywood flicks already, now how are you going to impress me with your film when I have seen everything better already? Content is the king is actually the truth in this day and age," he reiterates. 

"You need to give me something that I have not seen before to pull me out of my house and get in me theatres with a subject that affects me, surprises me or even shocks me!," he adds. "I found Ranbir Kapoor's 'Animal' absolutely engrossing. I was hooked inspite of it being a long film.
I was like oh my god! How could anyone have a take on a subject like this at this scale! If you see the story it's 'The Godfather', and I found it engaging. I liked the courage of the film maker because he is convinced that I will show my film my way.

I believe that at the end of the day, the maker of the of the film is seen (and judged) by the film he makes. Director Sandeep Vanga Reddy has a definite stamp on his creations. A unique stamp is the only solution for a film be successful. Vanga is like-- I don't care! This is who I am (as a maker) and this is how I want to show a scene. It's absurd that people are saying how a film should be made. I enjoyed the film. I am looking forward to 'Animal Park' now."

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