Rumi Jaffery-Completes Life Partner-Interview
Explore Rumi Jaffery in an intimate interview.
RUMI JAFFERY tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that it was he, who changed David Dhawan’s penchant to go in for vulgar dialogues.
Did you conceive the subject of Life Partner when you were a bachelor?
Yes. I was working on the subject of Life Partner right from the 90’s when Waqt Hamara Hai shooting was on with Akshay Kumar and Suneil Shetty. It is one subject which has been very close to my heart, in the sense, that I had even done a lot of research and counseling on love and marriage at that time when I was a bachelor.
Is it true that Shah Rukh had liked the subject when you narrated it to him?
I had conveyed the subject when I was working on it to Shah Rukh Khan when I was in Greece, for the shooting of Chalte Chalte was on. I was the writer of the film. Shah Rukh loved the subject and encouraged me to work on the concept since he loved it.
How did you bag the offer to direct Life Partner?
After my film God Tussi Great Ho went on the floors, I met Abbas bhai and Mustan bhai. I respect them a lot, though I had never ever written for them. I was a new director since God Tussi Great Ho had not been released by then, though I was by then an established writer in my own right and yet they asked me to direct their maiden production venture Life Partner.
Did Abbas and Mustan interfere with you at any stage?
Not only did they refuse to come on the sets when I was directing their film, but also did not agree to my suggestion that their editor brother Hussain Burmawala should edit our film, because they felt that people would feel that they were behind each and every move of mine
Is it true that it was Subhash Ghai who gave you the title Life Partner?
I am extremely grateful to Subhash Ghai for having readily agreed to give me the title Life Partner even though it was registered by him for a film of his, because I share a very good relationship with him though I have never written or directed for his banner
How relevant is the title Life Partner for your film?
It is only the husband or the wife, who is termed as Life Partner, though we are in a relationship all through our life, whether it is with our parents, brothers or sisters. In Life Partner, I have shown both the plus and minus points of love and arranged marriage. I am so confident of my product that I have not even planned my next project after Life Partner.
Like David, does your film also have vulgar dialogues in it?
I started writing for David with the film Coolie No 1. It was after the release of Eena Meena Deeka and Raja Babu that I joined him, after David had to face a lot of flak for the double meaning dialogues and vulgarity quotient in them. Life Partner or any film that I set out to make will be clean and not steeped in vulgarity or double entendre dialogues. I do not want to make a film which I cannot set out to watch with my wife or mother or daughter. I can proudly claim the credit for having changed David’s way of going for vulgar dialogues with all the films for which I had written for him, till Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya.
Your style seems to be in contrast to that of David Dhawan!
Though I have stuck to the genre of comedy like David, I want to have a different and distinct style of my own as a filmmaker, who is here to stay and hence chose to make my debut with a film like God Tussi Great Ho. Contrary to what people say, God Tussi Great Ho was not at all similar to Bruce Almighty. I just take the basic element and then work on the subject to give my own take, because I am always of the belief that remakes do not work in Bollywood. Or else every remake of Mani Ratnam’s super duper Tamil films would have struck gold at the box office in Bollywood, including Vansh.
How did you have the guts to announce the release date of your film in spite of having Govinda in it?
People are shocked that I could complete Life Partner on time even though Govinda is one of the actors in my film. I had announced the release date of Life Partner even before Govinda completed his dubbing. Govinda is a misunderstood actor. Do you think he could have continued to survive in this industry if he was that bad and indiscipline? To be part of my film, it was Chi Chi and not Fardeen Khan who stepped in after Akshay Kumar opted out of the film by even reducing his weight and cutting his hair.
Is it true that you detest awards functions?
When I was a part of the jury for an award s function, I suggested unsuccessfully that Lalita Pawar ought to be chosen for the honor of being bestowed with the Life Time Achievement Awards and argued that the award need not necessarily go only to the big stars, but also to the senior most character artistes who have given their flesh and blood to this industry. Can you undermine the great contribution to the industry by Kader Khansaab or for that matter A.K. Hangalsaab? Yet they have not been conferred with the Life Time Achievement awards, because awards functions have become big business to milk money from sponsors.
– Bollywood Interviews / Sampurn