Reflecting on the box office debacle of "Thugs of Hindostan", director Vijay Krishna Acharya says people did not like that Aamir Khan's character was inherently flawed.
Acharya said he wanted to challenge himself with the story starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Sheikh. He hopes the film will get its due later.
"What excited me to do 'Thugs of Hindostan' was to make a film in the large format about a character, who is not inherently noble. That is what the mainstream Indian audience has not liked, especially when it is played by Aamir Khan.
The same story, if it is more heroic, is easier to pull off. "But that did not interest me. I don't want to make films that are constantly pleasing the audience, it is not my tradition. We have to challenge ourselves. I will do films I want to make. I will never make a film for commerce. I don't want to run after a star, I don't think they are important. Films make stars and stars never make films," Acharya told PTI in an interview.
According to the director, there has been a shift in the audience's perception. "There is an audience that is exposed to international content. They are interested in the content.
Having said that, the big films will stay. People go to theatres to see newer things. Content should be the king." Acharya's last released "Thugs of Hindostan", was panned by critics and audience. "In all the years that I have seen other people's work and my work, I have realised that you should never try and analyse success and failure, my reasons for it not working could be completely different from you.
I don't want to make a perfect film because perfect films are boring and cold." 'Thugs of Hindostan' will get its due at a slightly later stage, he said.
"Purely as a filmmaking experience, there were several departments that worked much better than anything else I have seen in Indian films. I can say this with no personal humility or false modesty. A lot of effort was put in. Maybe the things that we thought were the strength of a film ended up becoming its weakness. It is over, it is done." Acharya says one can learn from both the success and failure of a film.
"...Those lessons are private and that come into your private space and sometimes one wants to articulate it or not articulate it. There are many things that I want to change. There are many learnings. But that should be spoken at a different time."
Acharya was talking on the sidelines of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival's fourth edition of the 'Word to Screen Market' initiative, where the literary world engages directly with content creators for film, TV and digital. The director said he has a soft spot for Hindi publications.
"I believe there are very few people who write in Hindi. Those reading it in Hindi are also very few. There is an India that these stories talk about, which living in Mumbai, I feel I am losing touch with. I am from a small town, I feel like listening to stories that are a little more rooted." He believes book adaptations are extremely tough.
"When you read the book, you paint the picture but when you adapt a book then the audience will, by and large, say the book was better and every filmmaker knows this. 'Godfather' is based on a book and it is one of the best films. It is all about the material, the filmmaker and what the team does with it."