Aditya Dhar’s Uri: The Surgical Strike is one of the surprise blockbusters of 2019 having already raked in over Rs. 217 crore and still going strong at the box office. The producer of Uri, Ronnie Screwwala, has apparently registered the title How’s The Josh? It’s a line (written by Aditya himself who has also written the screenplay) from the movie which is famous by now and on almost everybody’s lips today. But the young and dynamic director, in an interview to Bollywood Hungama, a few days earlier, told us he is not directing the same.
Aditya Dhar on why his next may not be a war movie How’s The Josh and why he’s on a break right now…
The director tells us that he wants to try something different for his next. “Consciously, I want to do something different for my next film. The army and war genre space is something I am really attached to so I will definitely get back to it but for my immediate next, I am thinking of doing something different. I want to explore a different genre and space and showcase my work – it has to have varieties in it and not get typecast in any one genre. I want to explore everything from romance to comedy to thriller and period dramas. In the last seven-eight years, I have written about eight to nine scripts which are across the spectrum – from period films to caper and romantic drama and romantic comedy to an action movie so I have written on everything.”
Aditya elaborates that he has written more than eight scripts over the last few years. “The period film was the film I was to do with Dharma Productions in 2013 and was called Sufi and in 2016 a movie called Raat Baaki with Fawad Khan and Katrina Kaif but which didn’t happen (because of the ban on Pakistani actors, actresses and technicians working in India after the Uri attack). I was to do a film with Vishal Bharadwaj in 2011 called Lucknow which was based on a short story by Ruskin Bond and then finally I did Uri and as they say whatever happens is for the best.”
Right now, however, the director is on a break. “As a writer, I am taking a break right now after Uri, but when I get back to it, I will start figuring out which film to do as my next. The turnaround of Uri has been really quick – we started shooting six months back and finished in six months and with the kind of action sequences we had to edit, VFX, sound design and background music, it was a really quick turnaround and it happened because we were working non-stop and relentlessly as we wanted to give something to the audience which has not been seen before. That has taken a better chunk of last couple of years of our lives and the last six months for sure so now we are just taking a break. Before we start anything new, we need to have a completely clear perspective and mind.”
Uri: The Surgical Strike kept a fine balance and never veered towards jingoistic patriotism as some war movies sometimes do. Aditya says, “It wasn’t difficult keeping the balance because the intention was to show it exactly in the most correct and real manner possible and considering that we were showing reality, the film automatically, turned out to be really real. If we had gone exaggerated then that jingoism might have come out a lot and see, audiences nowadays because of the digital media are now watching everything. They have a very balanced perspective so we knew that the film should come across in a balanced way too, and everybody in every scene is equal, real and normal. So that was the intention right from the beginning and because of that it ended up looking like a balanced and not a non-propaganda, non-jingoistic movie.”
The director is enjoying his accolades today and Uri has won appreciation not only at the box office but being loved by the young and old alike. Did he ever think when he started the movie that it would cross over Rs. 200 crore? Aditya says, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think Uri would cross Rs. 200 crore. When we started the movie we knew we were making something special as we were making it for the Indian army and we can’t take it easy but give our more than 100 per cent as it’s really important as an event also and as a film also. We are showing the sacrifices of the soldiers and the pain their families go through every day so the intention was completely bang on. Because of that we knew that we are doing something special but we never imagined even in our dreams these kind of fantastic numbers and will have that kind of response…
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