As 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' clocked six complete years on Saturday, the films' producer-director duo Maneesh Sharma and Sharat Katariya opened up about their sheer disbelief that their movie won the prestigious National Film Awards for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
On the sixth release anniversary of the cult classic, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar, the dynamic duo Maneesh Sharma and Sharat Katariya talked about their journey into making this fresh, timeless romance.
Maneesh: Some take the plunge, others are tripped into the pool. I am definitely the latter. Producing films was nowhere in my scheme of things but I had not anticipated the plans of one Mr Aditya Chopra. Shuddh Desi Romance had just released and I was prepping for Fan. One fine day, a conversation initiated by Adi led to me becoming a producer pretty much overnight. C 'est la vie!
Sharat: No, one is not thinking any kind of (such thing), one is always unsure and is always trying to write with the best possible ideas one can have while writing. There was no expectation if you're asking, I was overwhelmed by the reaction but never expected it like that.
Maneesh: Irrespective of which role I am engaged in a movie with - producer, director or story writer - I rely a lot on my instinct. It's a lot to do with what feels right at that stage of life and you click with a narrative or a character or a genre and you back your instinct and commit to investing your time and energy to the process. So far, that's mostly worked for me, I guess.
Sharat: I really don't know, I honestly don't know. I saw the film a year after it was released, again, at a film festival with the audience, and later on also, a couple of years later, again I saw it. I still don't know what worked with the audience, but I'm assuming that it still is a hypothetical answer from my end, maybe the comedy, the characters, or I don't know what really worked, or what was new in it, because when I hear the word 'fresh', I don't know what was fresh in it? I really have no idea, I can't break it down for myself. If I could, I would do that again.
Maneesh: All we really hoped for was for the audience to connect with the grounded and nostalgic quality of the narrative. The love and warmth the film has received over time, does validate our conviction. Each film has its own measure of ambition. This one did tick many of the boxes.
Sharat: It's just their talent nothing else! It's their talent of getting into the skin of the character and becoming the characters they've asked for, for any film that they do. And I'm sure that is why their films work and their performances work and so ya, it is purely their own talent.
Maneesh: Kya baat kar raha hai !!
Sharat: I have very fond memories. One thing was that I got to know of it from a friend's tweet. I didn't know about it when it was being announced, so one of my friends tweeted it and I got to know and I was like 'really?' I was not expecting it and I was not even aware that awards were announced or (the film was) submitted for the awards. I'll tell you bit by bit what had happened, my first reaction was like Oh God! I won't be able to work the whole day now. First, it wasn't sinking in but it sank in when there were multiple phone calls after that and I remember calling Maneesh. I told him that the film has won a National Award, not just for the film but also for the best singer (Monali) and Varun (Grover) for the best lyrics as well. So, he was also equally surprised and he said, what are you saying! And then phone calls started coming and the phone was ringing non-stop. This has never happened to me, in my life, there were so many phone calls, it was really overwhelming, a very overwhelming experience.
( With inputs from ANI )
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