Rohinton Screwvala, who's better known as Ronnie Screwvala, seems quite excited about his new release, Delhi 6, this week. UTV chief, Ronnie is also happy with the way his other recent releases, Dev D and Fashion, among others, fared.
He spoke to Arthur J Pais about Delhi 6, Slumdog Millionaire and much more.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has made his second film Delhi 6 for UTV, following the big success of Rang De Basanti. What attracted you to this project?
It is a contemporary film set in old Delhi, dealing with common issues in India. It is more the story of a young America-born India [Abhishek Bachchan] coming to India to leave his dying grandmother [Waheeda Rehman] -- and falling in love with India.
It also deals with communal tension, and the need to look within us. We loved the concept right from the start.
Mehra had recorded the music for the film before the shooting started, and we knew that A R Rahman had come up with an awesome score. The script was, of course, the key to everything. Having worked with Rakeysh on Rang De Basanti, we knew that he is one director who takes a great script it to a higher, phenomenal level.
There may not be a controversy attached to Delhi 6 but a number of films in India have become controversial in recent years. Shah Rukh Khan dropped the word 'barber' from his title and kept it to one word, Billu...
The Indian filmgoers, especially the young, have become very informed in the age of globalisation. But they have also become opinionated. The problem comes when the opinions become rigid. This was the case with Jodhaa-Akbar. It's still released in Rajasthan. Much of the opposition to the film in that state was political. We won the case in high courts against those who were opposing its release [claiming that the film was not historical]. Still, theatre-owners were scared that they will run into trouble if they showed the film.
In the picture: UTV chief Ronnie Screwvala [second from left], Sonam Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Rakyesh Mehra and Prasoon Joshi. Photograph: Paresh Gandhi
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