BollywoodLife caught up with Aamir Khan at his Bandra residence post the success of Dhoom: 3 to find out whether the megastar has achieved what he wanted with the year’s most awaited action thriller…
I wish I could begin this interview with a disclaimer that this piece is not another rant against the year’s most questionable cinematic success. But we were not sure if Aamir Khan would consider his performance in the year’s most successful movie Dhoom: 3 as one of his finest. It’s a known fact that the movie has minted unbelievable moolah at the box office, even while the response it has generated is dramatically varied. We met the 48-year-old actor at his sea-facing house in Mumbai to find out if the superstar is happy with the commercial success of the film.
Aamir, as always, came up with some sensible answers to our queries, but he also left us a bit confused and unconvinced with his logistics, analyses and interpretations of the success of Dhoom: 3…
How do you interpret the response Dhoom:3 has received?
I am thrilled. Monetary success, in a sense, is an indicator of how many people have watched the movie. So that has relieved me.
The film has garnered mixed reactions from the critics. Were you expecting that? Were you prepared for bipolar reviews?
I don’t read reviews. There was a time when I used to follow them, but not any more. I think reviewers or critics are audiences at the end of the day. So if a reviewer has not liked the film, then that has to be taken as a valid response. And I respect their opinions.
You have always received a favourable response to your films, even if some of them have not done great business at the box office. But that’s certainly not the case with Dhoom:3. Are you surprised?
A review, at the end of the day, is an opinion and I value it as much as I value any other person’s take on my film. Even Taare Zameen Par got bad reviews. But that’s a valid response. Ab kisi ki jaan toh nahin le sakte hain, na!
I believe that if your film caters to all kinds of audiences, when it cuts across a larger demographic it is bound to get a varied response, as opposed to a film like Ship Of Theseus that is made for a certain type of audience – it’s a niche film. So you know who it is made for and the result is ultimately based on the quality of the content. But Dhoom: 3 was made for a larger audience. It was not meant for a specific group, therefore the response is so diverse. Ultimately, your product is judged on the basis of the subject matter. And 90 percent audiences have liked Dhoom:3 and I am happy about it!
Has Aamir Khan achieved what he set out to do with the movie?
I think so, by and large. We were very happy with the way the film turned out. The question I asked to myself now is, am I happy with the film? In Dhoom; 3’s case, I liked the script and enjoyed doing the movie. The next question is, are the audiences happy with what we have created? And based on the reactions we have got so far and the numbers we have, I can certainly say that we as a team we have achieved what we had set out to achieve.
So how do you deal with the criticism the movie has garnered from your fans. Some even said the movie has not exactly lived up to their expectations, especially considering the kind of movies you make….
See, I value these opinions, but I don’t see them as a collective judgement. At the end of the day it’s an opinion of the individual. There’s a journalist friend of mine who did not like 3 Idiots and she found my acting very artificial in that film. I value that opinion, but I also take into account those who said that I did a fine job.
So your audiences’ response as well the critics’ response doesn’t influence your choice of movies – is that what you are saying?
I can never choose a film based on how other people feel about it. I can never do that, even if it is someone’s opinion I have the highest regard for. You won’t believe that Kiran (Rao) did not like Rang De Basanti. And I really take her opinion into account. She expressed her reservations about Rang De Basanti. But I still felt like doing it. I only go with my instinct. There’s no other way I can function in my capacity as an actor. I am not saying all my films have worked. My films have gone wrong too. For example, Mela and Mann did not work, but those are the films even I was not happy about. Mujhe pata tha ki yeh filmein theek nahin bani hain.
Do you think Dhoom:3 worked because of the dependable association of brand Aamir Khan attached to it?
My brand can’t go beyond Sunday, but people came to watch the movie even on Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t think I am that influential a brand. May be Salman Khan can pull off that. There’s an element of how wide you can go, even as a star. If you are releasing 2,000 prints in so many theatres, then the chances are high that most people would watch the film in the first three days itself. So the possibility of an ardent Aamir fan watching the movie on say, Wednesday or Thursday is highly unlikely, unless the movie has made that kind of buzz, or it is really that good.
While shooting the film were you aware that the project was resting entirely on your shoulders? Even during promotions the spotlight was always on you. Do you feel that your presence sidelined or under-used the rest of the cast?
No. In fact, I believe that Abhishek( Bachchan), Katrina( Kaif) and Uday (Chopra) propelled the story forward. It’s unfair to say that Aamir is highlighted just because I am willing to give everything I can do to make my movies work and that should not be held against me (laughs)!