In a freewheeling chat, Farah Khan talks about why she never made a satirical film and how times are changing for item songs.
Farah Khan is a filmmaker who identifies the pulse of the Indian audience, which is why she knows how to successfully deliver a blockbuster. As a choreographer-turned-director, Farah’s professional career has been a successful journey. The director, who kick-started her directorial career with Main Hoon Na, continued to sweep in all the awards with films including Om Shanti Om and Happy New Year.
Known for her wit and an outstanding sense of humour, Farah has also been sarcastic in many ways. However, sarcasm essentially seems to be missing in her films, as she believes Indians don’t comprehend it well. “My husband is the most sarcastic of the lot, but we were just discussing that there are two things Indian audience just don’t get: irony and sarcasm,” she says. Her perspective could have some truth in it since it’s been long that the Indian audience has witnessed a sarcastic comedy. While slapstick, cheesy and double meaning comedy has become the norm in Bollywood, sarcastic comedies are given a major miss.
Elaborating further, she says, “Even on Twitter, people don’t get sarcasm and think it’s a true story. If you are sarcastic, it just goes over people’s head. The irony is lost. I would love to make a sarcastic film; I am so sarcastic that even my kids are now getting used to my sarcasm. You see it a lot in British comedy because that’s their sense of humour.”
Before Farah made the world laugh with her movies, she made them dance to her steps. As a choreographer, she was the force responsible for hit dance numbers like Chaiyya Chaiyya, Munni Badnaam Hui, Anarkali Disco Chali, Sheila Ki Jawani, Fevicol Se, Ghagra and others.
While these songs and their dance moves had people in frenzy, over time, they also came under the radar for objectifying women. In fact, more and more actors are getting conscious before taking up any item numbers. Kareena Kapoor Khan even went on record to say that if she were offered Fevicol in today’s time, she wouldn’t do it because of its objectification of women.
Although Farah defends her choreography, but also acknowledges that the sensibility is changing for good. “Sometimes, you do it just the way times are. Times are changing now, so obviously, we have to change also and pay attention to songs. But I have never done an obscene item song where I give my actor some vulgar step. People thought Fevicol is fun, but now we have got the point and we won’t do it again. So everyone learns as we grow older,” she says.
On one hand, when Farah has tasted success professionally, on the other hand, her husband Shirish Kundar has regularly been a target of trolls. The Kriti director, who is yet to find his foothold in the industry, has often been often criticized or has been embroiled in some or the other controversy.
However, lately, Shirish is only letting his work do the talking as he will be seen directing a web show Mrs. Serial Killer, which is being produced by his wife Farah.
Supporting her husband’s endeavours, the wife says, “I keep telling him ‘Tera time aayega,’ and now it is his time. I sometimes feel the films that he has made may have not done well because they were ahead of their time.”
Talking about the working dynamics between her and Shirish on the project Mrs. Serial Killer, she reveals, “I am very liberal because I am more of a wife. In fact, Shirish handles production. I would be a very hands-on producer, but I am staying out of it and I am there for moral support. This is a really nice project as right now serial killers and crime thrillers are the hottest genres on the digital space. I think it is going to be timely and he has got good cast lined up as well.”
Farah’s last directorial film was Happy New Year in 2014. Since then, she has been busy with her family, so is motherhood keeping her away from her professional interests? Pat comes the reply, “No, not at all! Nothing can keep me away from the direction for too long.”
In fact, her next is in collaboration with Bollywood’s hottest director right now – Rohit Shetty. “I am starting my next big film, which will be produced by Rohit Shetty. We just decided to make a movie together and I don't know how it happened; it was just meant to happen. We both are on the same page and I can't wait to start this project,” she says excitedly.
Adding further, she concludes. “It is a remake of Satte Pe Satta. It’s been my all time favourite movie. If I say anything more, Rohit is going to kill me.”