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Kunal Kohli on producing Break Ke Baad

Last updated on: November 23, 2010 13:23 IST

'You can see a bit of rawness in Break Ke Baad'

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Aseem Chhabra in New York

Kunal Kohli started his career working with the Yash Chopra camp, directing hit romantic musicals like Hum Tum (the film won a National Award for Saif Ali Khan) and Fanaa.

With Break Ke Baad, starring with Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone, he has branched off into producing a film for a first time director -- Danish Aslam. Break Ke Baad has a youthful look, quite different from Kohli's own dramas.

Aseem Chhabra spoke to Kohli on the phone while the filmmaker was preparing for a quick trip to New York to promote the new film.

This is your first production where you are working with another director.

Yes, I was fortunate to work with two big directors as my producers Yashji and Adi (Aditya). And I learned that there's no point in being just a producer. Even though I am the producer, I never think as a producer. I never make a film with a calculator. I make it with the script. I make it from the heart. And that's the way it is, not to think about production things, but to think about filmmaking. Because, I am a filmmaker first.

I understand that, but money is still a criterion, you can't deny that.

Yeah, yeah, but the point is you want to make a good film and then the money follows. If you try and make the money in the production the money is not going to come to you. It's simple!

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Image: A scene from Break Ke Baad, and an inset of Kunal Kohli

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'If I was to direct this film, I would make it very differently'

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How much were you involved in the filmmaking process, though?

I am not the producer of the film, I'm the creative consultant. I'm a filmmaker who is launching another filmmaker's career. So I know ever dialogue, scene, costume, prop, background score, visual affect that a filmmaker would know.

I've helped the filmmaker make another film and achieve his vision. It's a dream that we both shared as a producer and a director. I don't understand what producers do when they only bring money for the film. That's what banks do.

But you said it is Kunal Kohli's Break Ke Baad with Danish vision. Where in lies the distinction?

That's hard to answer. We shared a vision, but if I was to direct this film, I would make it very differently. 


Image: A scene from Break Ke Baad

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'Break Ke Baad also talks about the distance and space between parents and children'

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Tell me more about Danish as a director. How is he different from you as a director?

I think that is something you will have to judge for yourself. We are completely different. I am very filmi. He's more realistic. There is less melodrama and more realism in Danish work.

How old are you by the way?

Why?

I was going to say that this film has a very young cast compared to the actors from the films that you have directed. They were much more mature in the film industry.

That's true. I'm 42 [laughs].

Ah, okay. But the films you have made Fanna and Hum Tum even the stories were for a more mature audience.  Am I right to say that?

Aha. We this is a mix of both. It Danish and my effort and he's 31. It's for a mature as well as for a young audience. Because going by the promos you might think it is for a very young audience. But what you see in the film -- and that's a surprise element -- is that it also talks about the distance and space between parents and children. There's always a gap between what the child wants to do and what the parent wants him or her to do. And that's also been addressed in
Break Ke Baad.

Can you talk about Danish? He has worked with you on a number of films. But why this film with him?

Well he came up with the script and I liked it. I said okay fine let's make this. It sounds simple, but we went through a long but lovely process. It was a hard and tough but also great.


Image: A scene from Break Ke Baad

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'Dilwale Dulhania was more of a raw film as compared to Mohabbatein'

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You started your career with the Yash Chopra. If you look at your work how has it evolved? 

If you look at my work, you see I have worked in different genres from Mujhse Dosti Karoge, which was about friends, Hum Tum -- about people who meet at different points in their lives, Fanaa -- an intense love story about when happens when a terrorist falls in love, and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic -- a children's film.

You can see the rawness in one film as compared to the polish in the other. You can see the growth as a filmmaker, I think. And of course you can see a little bit of rawness in Break Ke Baad which Danish's first film and that is lovely. I think there is always rawness in filmmaker's first film. I loved that Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a more raw film than My Name is Khan. And Dilwale Dulhania was more of a raw film as compared to Mohabbatein.

Explain to me what do you mean by this rawness?

There is a little simplicity to those films. There is not that much of smartness. The shots, the sets are simpler. The scale is lesser. And I think these things are very endearing. Even when you compare Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal, you will notice the simplicity of shot taking in the first film and the complexities in the second.  

I tried to keep my early films as raw as possible. But there is also the lack of budget, when you are forced to make films at a low budget. There's something wonderful about that.


Image: A scene from Break Ke Baad

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'Break Ke Baad is a nice family film'

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Any last word about the film?

Well I think it is a nice family film. I am not a politician who will go around saying 'please see my film' because of this and this reason. I just say -- go and see it.

Okay, thanks for the last word from the politician, producer and the creative consultant.

[Laughs].


Image: A scene from Break Ke Baad

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