Known for his dark tales of betrayal and treachery, director Tigmanshu Dhulia is in a happy space right now. But reports that the director referred to Indra Kumar’s comedy Total Dhamaal as “trashy” have apparently incensed the big guns and Devgans of the entertainment industry.
Tigmanshu says he has been misquoted. “I haven’t seen Total Dhamaal, so how can I comment on it? I had seen Indra Kumar’s Dhamaal years ago and was using that as a reference point for lowbrow comedies which do not pretend to be anything else. There was a tradition of such comedies in Marathi and Hindi when Dada Kondke gave us unabashed lowbrow comedies with suggestive titles like Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein. They were hugely successful. But I can’t make such films. I don’t know how to.”
“My new film Milan Talkies is not a dark film. I think it’s my funniest film to date. It is a story that was with me for years. I am glad it is finally ready to go out there,” says the relieved director whose last film Sahib Bibi Aur Gangster 3 sank without a trace. Says Tigmanshu, “We went wrong with that one. But part 4 of the Saheb Bibi Gangster saga is very much on the anvil. The ‘Sahib’ and ‘Bibi’ would be played by the same actors (Jimmy Sheirgil and Mahi Gill).The ‘Gangster’ would change.”
At the moment Tigmanshu has his head wrapped completely around Milan Talkies. He raves about his lead pair and describes the leading lady Shraddha Srinath as a prized find. “She is beautiful and speaks fluent Hindi in spite of being from the South. She has done some South films earlier. But I feel she will be a big success in Hindi cinema.”
As for Ali Fazal, “We had approached a couple of other actors (Shahid Kapoor, Imran Khan). But finally it was Ali. He is pitch-perfect as a small-town film buff.” Dhulia feels there is room for intelligent laughter in the theatres. With regards to Total Dhamaal being called “trashy”, he again says he was misquoted. “I was referring to another film called Dhamaal with Riteish Deshmukh in it. And it was just a random reference, not meant to target any particular film but a culture of crass entertainment. I hope to overcome that culture. I hope Milan Talkies will evoke laughter although it doesn’t resort to cheap shots.”