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"I was responsible in a huge way to create that background tune in Dhoom 3," says Sanjay Gadhvi proudly, as we sit back at his sprawling home in a posh locality in Lokhandwala, Andheri, a western suburb of Mumbai.
Gadhvi is the director of the first two instalments of the hit franchise, giving way to Vijay Krishna Acharya (popularly known as Victor), in the third movie.
Gadhvi claims he doesn’t mind not directing the third film (‘All the Mission Impossible movies are directed by different directors.’), though he adds that Dhoom 3 is like his baby.
The director has not found success after the Dhoom movies. His films like Tere Liye, Kidnap and Ajab Gazabb Love have all bombed at the box office.
He tells Patcy N what he thinks about Dhoom 3, producer Aditya Chopra, and much more.
Have you seen the trailer of Dhoom 3? What did you think of it?
I have seen everything related to Dhoom 3. It is like my baby.
The latest trailer works in totality. If I was the director of the film, that’s the kind of trailer I would like.
It showcases the old and new stars. It confirms to potential viewers that it is on the same level of action, the locations are better, and the money spent is more.
Dhoom 2 was better and bigger then Dhoom and Dhoom 3 is bigger than Dhoom 2.
I have been tweeting about it, as I think it is fantastic.
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Did you like the new Dhoom Machale song?
The Dhoom Machale song stands apart from the rest of the songs of Hindi films of the last 15 years.
Songs, item songs and successful films will come and go but the Dhoom Machale song is deeply entrenched in the Indian film-going public’s and music listener’s mind.
But the joy of the first time cannot be duplicated or replicated, just like the first kiss.
When I made Dhoom 2, so many people told me the first Dhoom Machale song in Dhoom with Tata Young, was the best.
Dhoom 3’s Dhoom Machale will also fall prey to this kind of feeling and comparisons. Many people will say it is not that good, but others will find it rocking.
The pressure on makers like producer Aditya Chopra, director Victor (Vijay Krishna Acharya) and music composer Pritam is tremendous. If they change a lot, people will say it’s not like the original. If they stick to the same things, people will say they copied the original.
Katrina’s costumes in the song are mind blowing. She is looking hot in the film.
Were Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif right for the sequel?
People should not be judgemental about whether the casting is correct because at the end of the day, it is going to be the script that is important.
Whether Aamir’s acting is appropriate or not should not to be prejudged before the release. You should have that much faith in Aditya Chopra who is an experienced producer.
I have made three films there and I know how the minds of Aditya Chopra and the rest of the team work. They are very honest with the casting.
Very rarely you will see in a Yash Raj film that the casting is haywire.
Are you happy that Victor has stepped into your shoes?
He’s the best choice. I don’t think there is anyone better to be the director of Dhoom 3. He is my dearest friend.
People say I made Dhoom and Dhoom 2. But I have to say it officially that all the people who were the heads of department of Dhoom and Dhoom 2, they made my life.
Be it music composer Pritam, Anaita Shroff Adajania who made kickass costumes, Allan Amin who did the action…anyone who did anything, they all contributed to my life.
Victor is hugely responsible for lots of good things in Dhoom and Dhoom 2 -- the writing, characterisation. At Yash Raj you just don’t do your work but if you have any interesting idea, you speak it out and it will get incorporated.
Hrithik Roshan becoming a statue in one of the scenes in Dhoom 2, that idea came from the art department, when they had nothing to do with how to design the robbery scene.
Anaita Adjania’s opinion was taken for the crucial decision of what colours to add to John’s bike as she had to co-ordinate with John’s costumes.
The three most important persons in both the Dhooms were producer Aditya Chopra, writer Victor and me the director.
There is no better person to direct Dhoom 3 than Victor.
The freshness that a new director brings becomes an asset for the film. All the Mission Impossibles are directed by different directors.
Your three-film contract with Yash Raj was over after Dhoom 2. Did Aditya Chopra offer you Dhoom 3 at all?
I did all the three films and before the release of Dhoom 2 I had spoken to Adi and discussed that after this, I would be moving out as I wanted to see the outside world.
He told me to think about it. The offer was for me to stick around and direct films for them or turn producer like Kunal Kohli did for Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic.
I chose not to stick around, and Adi was okay with it.
But after seeing the Dhoom 3 trailer did you think you should have done this too?
No, I don’t feel that. Only two feelings come to me--nostalgia and a sense of pride.
What comes to my mind when I see Dhoom 3 is the tune. I was responsible in a huge way to create that background tune.
You have worked with Aditya Chopra on three films. What was it like working with him? How much is he involved and how much freedom did you get as director?
He is as much involved in the making of the film as a good producer should be.
Aditya Chopra and I would decide on the stories that both of us like, then we would work on the script with a writer that both of us thought would be appropriate.
He knows how much money he wants to put in the film and where he wants to position the film.
A writer can write an expensive scene involving helicopters and planes but if that one scene is going to cost Rs 100 crore, Aditya won’t approve it and will ask for a change.
After that comes the music that helps make a film a success or failure, and he is involved with the decision of the music too.
Once everything is done and the director has to go and shoot the film, he is not at all involved.
He will never tell a director how to take a shot. He never attended one single day of my shoot even when I was shooting in Yash Raj studios.
His office sanctions the money. He gives you the best facilities that he can and the best cast. He provides equipment from all over the world to help you make the film.
Once the film is in post production, he obviously checks, but only at the end.
He is an ideal producer, fantastic to work with. He has a sharp mind.
In 2003, we were making Dhoom.
The cast was John Abraham, who had just one hit in Jism, Abhishek Bachchan, who had eight to nine flops, and Uday Chopra, whose Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai with Rs 8 crore budget earned Rs 20 to 25 crores but still, he had not arrived like Shah Rukh Khan. Esha Deol had flops, Rimi Sen only had a hit in Hungama.
With such a cast, Adi spent around Rs 10-11 crore on a genre of film (action) the company is not comfortable with.
If any other filmmaker had made it, he would have spent just Rs 2.50 crores. If the budget had been less, the film could not have turned out the way it did.
That is the sixth sense of Aditya Chopra. He gives a film the best chance. If it doesn’t work, he moves on.
After you left Yash Raj Films, you directed Kidnap and Ajab Gazabb Love, and neither did well. What went wrong?
I have learnt one good thing from Aditya Chopra: you select a particular story that excites you, get stars and shoot it and make a film out of it.
The excitement level and conviction in each of my six films is the same, that I am a making a kickass movie.
Some films work and some don’t. I know what’s gone wrong with my films because I analyse my films more than anyone. But there is no point talking about it.
I work equally hard on all my films. In fact, I worked harder on Kidnap because that was the first one after Dhoom 2 and I was out of Yash Raj.
The success of the film doesn’t depend on how hard you have worked or how good the music was, or how big the publicity and release were. It is the mixture of a lot of things.
With Yash Raj, you were a hit filmmaker and your next three films were flops. Wouldn’t it have been wiser to sign another three-film deal with Yash Raj?
You are bang on right as far as my hits and flops are concerned. But don’t evaluate my career now. When I have finished my career, and made 14 films then say whether I was a flop director.
You can’t evaluate Rajkumar Hirani’s career as he is just three films old. But people call him the greatest filmmaker of all time.
He is my friend and edited my first film. He is shocked when people talk about him like that.
What are you working on right now?
I am not working on anything. I am just looking for stories that will excite me.