As 'Singham Returns' gets ready for release, director Rohit Shetty on the art of making sequels of masala films that have crossed the Rs 300 crore mark:
You have made it a practice to come up with sequels to your films. How challenging is it?
People assume making a sequel is easy. That’s not true. While making a sequel, you are bound by characters who are already famous, thanks to the previous film. They need to move forward in the sequel, but at the same time you can’t explore new territories. Yes, there are certain advantages. I don’t need to explain what the movie is about or introduce the characters. This helps in promotions.
Have you heightened the drama and action for Singham Returns?
I had to do that, otherwise the audience might feel that it lacks the punch of the original. However, when I saw the final cut of the movie three days ago, I knew that they would not miss Singham. I want them to get high on entertainment and come out of the theatre happy.
How do you ensure that the viewers don’t miss the original?
Golmaal Returns in 2008 was a learning experience for us. We had missed the high points and comedy of the original Golmaal (2006). We were arrogant and took digs at everyone. By the time the movie released, I became aware that it was an average film. We got lucky and the film did well. I realised we needed to work harder, bring in more emotions and make the characters livelier. We learn not just from our failures, but successes too.
How do you make a masala movie work every time?
You need to maintain the connect you have with your audience. When you watch the same film in a multiplex and at a single screen — it’s like you are watching two different movies. The experience is totally different. One has to deal with such a varied audience in the country. When Singham Returns releases, 20 per cent will not like the film, but I feel the need to cater to the rest.
What are the departments you give priority to in your kind of cinema?
Every department — music, drama, writing. Singham, Golmaal and Chennai Express are all commercial films, but their presentation is not the same. The colour scheme, dialogue and approach to Singham and Chennai Express is very different. We can’t put the rawness of Singham