then came the fastest Rs.100 crore, then Rs.150 and so on. But the biggest surprise was it crossing the Rs. 200 crore mark, and the fact that it was still running strongly in its fourth week. So there is something about the film which has connected with the audience. I knew that the film would do well, but not in this manner. I am really feeling good.
How has the film industry reacted to the film’s success?
Some people say that money does not bother them, but I can see that it bothers everyone. I know that because the so-called intellectual actors and directors were calling and checking with trade analysts if the film is really doing that well. That was something I found shocking! Why should they be bothered whether the film has crossed Rs. 200 or not, especially when they say that the Rs. 100 crore mark does not bother them? If UTV is earning a huge amount by making a non-intellectual film, I know they will encourage 10 small guys to make small intellectual films, so somewhere down the line every film makes a difference.
The critics were not exactly kind to your film. Do you feel that they never gave you your due?
I know the film was trashed right from the beginning. Some trade analysts said they would like to buy the rights of the film to make it in Hindi, (because it had a smattering of Tamil in it) and some said the film will lose money. When I call them, they do not take my calls now(smiles). So nobody knows what will work.
You think Chennai Express has got you the respectability you deserve?
I don’t care if critics don’t respect me. My audience respects me a lot and I know that from their reaction when I go on the roads. To me that is the most important thing. There are 200 critics, and sadly most of the time they are wrong. If I go to see an Anurag Kashyap film, I will go with that mindset and if they come to see a Rohit Shetty, they should be prepared for my brand of cinema. Everyone has the right to love a genre or dislike a genre, but when you are on a public platform you can’t be judgmental. You don’t like a product or a genre that does not mean it is wrong. They know I