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'We have to make great films; good is not good enough'

By PATCY N
November 29, 2022 11:07 IST
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'We cannot test the patience of the audience anymore because everything is on your mobile.'
'Not just OTT, it's also Instagram, social media...'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Ayushmann Khurrana/Instagram

Ayushmann Khurrana feels if he "stops taking risks, he will be finished".

That's one of the reasons why he takes up action for the first time in his career in An Action Hero, slated to release on December 2.

But as Ayushmann tells Patcy N/Rediff.com, "The attention span of Reels is 15 seconds, and we have to challenge ourselves to make it last two hours in a film. That's the real challenge."

After the pandemic, people don't want to watch something that is preachy or serious. What do you think?

I have understood that a film needs to have a wider audience for a community viewing. The family audience should love the film.

We cannot test the patience of the audience anymore because everything is on your mobile.

Not just OTT, it's also Instagram, social media... our main competition is social media and Reels...

The attention span of Reels is 15 seconds, and we have to challenge ourselves to make it last two hours in a film. That's the real challenge.

If you achieve that, if we can engage the audience for two hours, that would be the true victory.

Also, we have to know the right audience for the right medium.

There have been theories that it has to be a visual experience, but there have been smaller films that have done well.

Uunchai is doing well.

Kantara is not a KGF, but still, it did well.

So it's the audience engagement overall, that's it.

A movie like Vikram Vedha flops, but Kantara works. How do you know what scripts to choose, since it is so unpredictable?

Every actor does his own research before coming to a conclusion on selecting the script.

It was always unpredictable.

But now we have to make great films; good is not good enough.

The challenge is to excite the audience enough to come out of their homes to watch a film. It has to be worth their time and money.

IMAGE: Ayushmann Khurrana with An Action Hero Director Anirudh Iyer. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anirudh Iyer/Instagram

Anirudh Iyer is a first-time director. You seem to always try to push fresh talent forward.

Most of my hit films are with new directors because they are risk-takers like me.

When you attain a certain stature, the ability to take risks diminishes automatically because you want to be at the top.

So you are always on the edge that ab kuch galat na ho jaye.

But the beauty of film-making is that you have to keep taking risks.

New film-makers have nothing to lose.

They are the biggest risk-takers and the kind of subjects I choose are always risky.

Are you open to working in a Web series?

I have been offered many, but I am not excited yet.

I take one step at a time, one day at a time, one film at a time.

One thing is for sure that history will be kind to me.

When I look back 20 years from now, I will be remembered as the first person to do a certain subject or choose a certain film.

I think that will be gratifying.

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PATCY N / Rediff.com