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'I will recover my money on Badlapur over the weekend'

By Patcy N
Last updated on: February 19, 2015 18:48 IST
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Varun Dhawan and Yami Gautam in Badlapur'Badlapur might end up being my most successful film,' producer Dinesh Vijan tells Patcy N/

One of the youngest producers in the film industry, Dinesh Vijan has been making movies for the past 10 years. It all started with 2005's Being Cyrus, when he collaborated with Saif Ali Khan and co-founded Illuminati Films with the actor.

This Friday, Vijan will be releasing his gritty revenge drama, Badlapur, starring Varun Dhawan and Yami Gautam (in the picture).

Vijan talks to Patcy N/ about the film, and why it will be a hit.

After Finding Fanny, your next film is Badlapur. Why choose such a dark film? 

My first film was Being Cyrus which was as off as this film. 

Finding Fanny may seem calmer on the surface but it was a riskier film than Badlapur. 

You learn as much from your victories as from your failures. 

What works for me is when I have invested in a story, when I really like a story and I feel I have to tell the story, I am motivated to work hard for it. 

This is a true story from Europe but such things happen here too. 

What if a normal person, who is leading a simple content life with a wife and child, suddenly loses everything in an incident? What will he do? There is no purpose in living left and he can’t even kill himself. 

As a normal person, he won’t think of revenge. But what if he doesn’t get justice and after 15 years, he gets the chance to take revenge and he is a completely changed man. What level will he go to? 

Sriram Raghavan (the film’s director) has imagined scenes that I cannot even think of. 

He tells you clearly what is right and wrong at the beginning of the film. But in the end, you have to think what is right and what is not. There is a message in the film but it’s not in-your-face. 

Sriram Raghvan, Varun Dhawan and Dinesh Vijan

Image: Sriram Raghvan, Varun Dhawan and Dinesh Vijan. Photograph: Abhijit Mhamunkar

Why cast Varun Dhawan in the lead role? He has never done a film like this. Isn’t that risky? 

Everything that is risky has been profitable for me. Finding Fanny made more money because it was made on a small budget. 

This film is not made on a big budget; it is a sensibly budgeted film. 

Finding Fanny made Rs 31 crore in India and Rs 12 crore overseas. No Indian-English film has made more than Rs 12 crore abroad.

Badlapur is an edgy film. It has an adult rating. But everyone today is exposed to American television so that won’t be a problem. 

Was Varun your first choice? 

Sriram wanted an older guy. I thought this kind of story needs a young actor. 

Coincidentally, while we were talking about this, Varun called me up. I feel it was destiny.

At that time, Varun Dhawan was only one film old. I wanted to cast him in the film. I spoke to Sriram and he liked my suggestion. 

Ileana D'Cruz and Saif Ali Khan in Happy Ending

Image: Ileana D'Cruz and Saif Ali Khan in Happy Ending

Why did Happy Ending fail? 

Happy Ending was a safe project but still it did not work. 

There are various reasons why Happy Ending didn’t work; I still have to analyse all of them. I have not got time to do that as I started with Badlapur immediately. I will take a break before my next film so I can think what went wrong. 

What went wrong with Agent Vinod? 

Agent Vinod is a feather in my cap even if it did not do well because I learned a lot from that film. 

I learnt that you should go with one stream of thought. For example, Agent Vinod could be a James Bond film and it could also be Bourne Identity. We thought we were going somewhere in the middle and we thought we could satisfy both worlds but that is not possible.

I think Sriram Raghavan is better at making Bourne Identity. Agent Vinod is the passion of my partner (Saif Ali Khan) and we still stand by it.

The first part of Agent Vinod is pretty good, but we lost the track of the story in the second half. 

Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod

Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod

Do you think Badlapur will make Rs 100 crore at the box office? 

I don’t know. But since it is a sensible budget -- Rs 24 crore -- I will recover my money over the weekend. With the kind of curiosity there is about the film, there is a chance that I will get that in the first four days. It might end up being my most successful film.

The music is already sold and the satellite deal will happen soon. 

We did sensible budgeting because we knew it was a risky film. Haider was made for Rs 50- 55 crore and it made money. My film is made at half the cost. 

When are you going to direct a film? What other projects are you involved in? 

By the end of this year. We have written the idea; we have to develop the script. We will cast later. 

Saif thinks I can make a film, so let’s see by the end of the year.

Kunal Deshmukh has signed two films with us. Saket Choudhary has signed with us too. 

There is Fault In Our Stars to be made. We will make another Sriram Raghavan movie too.

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Patcy N / in Mumbai