'The cricket in the film is unimportant'
23 July, 2001: Bollywood director Ashutosh Gowariker is still getting used to the accolades after the super success of Lagaan. He fielded the questions of his fans personally typing his responses 'I can think only when I writing or typing, it's hard for me to chat otherwise'. Down to earth and extremely talented, that is Ash, as he is called among his colleagues. Read on to find out more about Lagaan and its creator.
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi everyone! This is Ashutosh.
pop : why only aamir khan was selected as actor
Ashutosh Gowariker : The character of Bhuvan is that of a very
righteous person. I think that that is aquality Aamir possesses by default.
Hence I could think of no one else but him.
dexter : Hello Ashutosh - Do you remember me- Dexter from
Mithibai College. Well its really great to have you in the spotlight again.
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi Dexter, nice talking to you
after a long time. How have you been? Email me your ID and I'll catch up with
jatin : Your lagaan has been has been hit .Now what's your
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I'm extremely happy,
satisfied and content. It gives me great joy to learn that all you guys have
liked the film.
manjeet : asutosh kasa ahes
Gowariker : cHHAAN AAHE! tU KASAA AAHES? cHITRAPAT PAAHEELAS
vishal : hi ashu whats your zodiac sign.
Gowariker : I'm a water bearer - AQUARIUS.
jatin : are you happy with the performance of aamir
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes. Extremely! Though he
feels that he did not get enough time to prepare for the role because of his
duties as a producer. I told him that he should relax and leave everything to me
and not get worried. WORRY always shows on an actor's face and that can harm a
characterisation. So, he stopped worrying and I think he has given a superlative
parvez : so now your expectations will be high budget
films with big heros or will you still go to see the script like that in
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The scale of any film is
dependant on the script. It is the story which will decide the
scope/actor/budget of the film.
ankit : hey... werent u guys nervous pitting lagaan aginst
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : No, not at all, 'coz we were
mainly interested in knowing how LAGAAN was going to fare. That both the films
released on the same date is sheer coincidence.
Lagaanluvr : hey ashutosh my frnd wanted to ask u if
handicapped ppl hav a chance in the film industry
Gowariker : Of course they do. The industry welcomes anyone and
everyone with the talent and will to fight.
rani : when is your birthday?
Gowariker : 15th February
Lagaanluvr : Sir,which actor would u like to
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : A very difficult question.
Coz my list is very long. I will let the script decide for me as to which actor
should play a particular part. I believe that "Role role par likha hai,
karnewale ka naam!"
amitjaiswal : ashutosh do u know the tits n bits of
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes. I do know the TITS
& BITS. But just enough to write the match and make the climax
Roopashri : hello, ashutosh, are u too busy? no answers to
my Qs at all........
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : So Roopashri,
what's your question?
vanessa : why did u choose ar rahman
Gowariker : The question is "Why did AR Rahman choose to work with
me?" The answer is he loved the script. He was excited with the idea of doing an
album which would be based on folk music. And also the blend of Indian and
Western music was very appealing to him. Same reasons why I approached him. I'm
glad he accepted.
carijohar : Hi Mr Ashutosh Gowariker, I am screenwriter
and what advice you have to tell me?
Gowariker : Put your pen to paper and Dream to Dare, Dare to
arun : how confident you were on choosing gracey singh in
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Extremely! She is wonderful
actress. She has infused the character of Gauri with a charm and zest which is a
part of her personality. In fact, this was the quality due to which I cast her
in the film.
raj kiran : mr ashutosh, how would u project lagaan to a
person who has no knowledge of cricket? considering the fact that 2/3rds of the
movie revolves around it... ?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi
Raj! The cricket in the film is unimportant. What is important is the passion of
the villagers to go to any extreme to get their lagaan cancelled. It is this
passion that makes the climax and the film interesting. So I sincerely think
that a non-cricket playing or someone who doesn't know the game will also like
the film. I hope!!
KM : Hi Ashu , Do you think the measurement taken by Amir
Khan to stop piarating Lagaan has been fruitful?
Gowariker : To a certain extent, yes! I believe there is only one
way to fight Audio/Video piracy and that is by the cooperation of the audiences.
If they decide not to hear or watch a pirated tape, it'll end all the
aspirations of a pirate. How would you like it if someone wiped off your freshly
applied mehndi rom your palms? How would you like it someone rubbed off your
beautifully designed rangoli? DON'T HEAR/WATCH PIRATED TAPES
Lagaanluvarzy : Would u like to direct salman's home
production in future?if so why?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Of
course, I would love to do a film with Salman. Provided I have a script that
suits him. More importantly, Salman should also like the script. Whether its his
home-production or not is a secondary matter.
cricketfan : dont you think, Lagaan will bring about a
trend of freedom struggle movies
Gowariker : THAT I'm not so sure of. But I'll be happy if
audiences welcome more and more movies based on varied subjects. Only then will
film-makers/producers/distributors/every other department will have the courage
to expand/experiment with different stories.
manav : hi ash which is your next film
Gowariker : I'm working on couple of ideas. It'll take me some
time to crystallise them. I'm looking forward to it as much as you are!
reena : Baazi is one of my favorite movie
Ashutosh Gowariker : Reena, I'm very very glad to hear that.
cricketfan : where do you feel your earlier movies went
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : In retrospection, I think the
scripts were not well-crafted. They had short-comings. Since I was the writer
myself, there's no one else to blame.
kunalmalhotra : i came to hear that you told gracy to
dance on a no. at the time of audition is that true. and at which no.
Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes its true. I made her (and everyone else)
dance to the song "Hothon pe aisi baat".
Roshni : why dont u give us an out and out comedy
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The thought had crossed my
mind. Yes, I'm working in that direction.
rachit : i like your movie lagaan very much i had seen it
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : 5 more times and you'll
be eligible for a SILVER JUBILEE trophy from the unit of LAGAAN.
girish : which is your birth place ???
Gowariker : Our very own Mumbai!
Milind : Hi AshutoshDo you think that movie like 'Lagaan'
should get nomination spot in Oscars and Academy Awards
Gowariker : The nomination spot is one thing. And being sent as an
Indian entry for the Academy award is another. I'll feel honoured if LAGAAN is
chosen by our Government to represent our country.
Rakeshrai : Hi Ashutosh why are you not answering my
questions about the Lagaan dvd that you promised with the 18 mins. Which company
is authoring the film on dvd? By the way my email address is
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : No! There
is no footage to be added or removed to/from the film or the DVD version. What
you are seeing in the theaters is the final film - all of 3 hours 42
Dina : R u married
Gowariker : Yes. My wife's name is Sunita. I have two sons -
Konark (10 years) & Vishwang (5 years).
himanshu : do u think that your movie title 'Lagaan' was
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : There couldn't have
been any other title because the 'tax' was the focal point of the story. It
hasn't rained, which means no crops... and in these times comes the demand for
double the tax. Bhuvan and the villagers strive to get the 'tax' cancelled.
Hence the title.
Roshni : ashuji, do u get back to your fans on email
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes, I do! But only when I log
on. Which is once a fortnight.
Dina : Ashu..I asked @ marathi films...any
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes! But I'm not sure
when. I have a script ready based on a true incident.
amir : Is lagaan a hit because of amir khan, the star or
the movie as a whole
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I would say a
combination of both.
himanshu : What impact u want have on the audience. How u
feel after watching your own great creation??
Gowariker : I would like the audience to encourage all kinds of
cinema. Realistic cinema, Escapist cinema, Propagandist cinema, Political cinema
and whichever new cinema that emerges. If and only every kind of cinema is
welcomed, can ideas be exchanged, cultures be absorbed & respected and
responsibilities towards society and each other can be examined with greater
depth and compassion. It might sound utopian, but I think it is possible.
Because deep within, I myself am an audience first!! ITS BEEN GREAT TALKING TO
ALL YOU GUYS. I APOLOGISE TO THOSE WHOM I COULD NOT REPLY. KEEP THE FAITH! Bye