The romantic drama Band Baaja Baaraat was released 10 years ago on this day, and the film marked the debut of actor Ranveer Singh as well as director Maneesh Sharma. Looking back at his debut directorial, which won wide acclaim on release, Sharma surprises you by saying this was not the first film he wanted to make.
Sharma, who was an assistant director in films like Fanaa, Aaja Nachle and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, wanted Fan, starring Shah Rukh Khan, to be his first film. He would eventually make the SRK-starrer in 2016.
“By the time I was finishing Aaja Nachle, I told Adi (producer Aditya Chopra) that I wanted to make Fan. He said it is a very ambitious film and I should work on the idea. Then, two months later, Adi called me again and asked me to come to Yash Raj Films (YRF). He told me that he was making a film with SRK, which we now know as Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and he told me he wanted me to work on this film. Obviously, I said ok," recalled Sharma, about the 2008 release, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which was directed by Chopra.
“By the time Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was finishing, Adi said, ‘I think we should plan your directorial’. I was thrilled! I was like, ‘great, Fan is ready, let’s do that!'" the filmmaker said.
However, Chopra had a very important piece of advice for him, which left Sharma dejected at that time.
“Adi said, ‘Fan cannot be your first film because it’s a very expensive film and very ambitions film’. He said, ‘you should think of something which is more mid -sized and not that ambitious’. I was genuinely very, very dejected. I was dejected that I’m not getting to make my dream film and now I have to think of a mid-sized film!"
Sharma took Chopra’s advice in his stride.
“I told myself that it’s ok and now I need to think of a new film to make. Somehow Bittu and Shruti (Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma’s characters in Band Baaja Baaraat) came from somewhere in my life. When I got my characters, I worked on the story and I came up with Band Baaja Baaraat. That’s how my first film as a director happened, and thankfully it went well," he recalled.
Sharma opens up about his journey to make Band Baajaa Baaraat saying: “When you set out to make a film, you always want to make a good film, you always set out to make a film that communicates your intentions as a storyteller, as a director. So, what has happened to Band Baaja by now, or during the release, is a very happy after effect. As I said earlier, I never ever, till the time I started to write Band Baaja Baaraat, was thinking of this film or those characters. I was very, very driven to make Fan, a thriller. I was always envisioning a certain kind of film to be my first film."
He shared what made the film different was that it was different in spirit and in thought in every which way.
“It’s a romantic comedy in a broader genre but I think the journey was more about me falling in love with Bittu and Shruti. How this happened was more circumstantial because I was not getting to make my desired first film and I adapted myself. I think in that process what did happen, was it took me back to where I came from, the gullies I came from," he added.
“So, the making of the film became about nurturing Bittu and Shruti, more the characters than the story or anything else, and that organic feeling actually lead everything, in terms of making of the film," Chopra summed up.