Filmmakers react on Saif Ali Khan’s statement about Humshakals being a mistake!

David Dhawan, Shoojit Sircar and Hansal Mehta said it isn’t right to abandon a film if it doesn’t do well at the box office

A movie is like a baby. Once conceived and birthed, you don’t put your hands up in the air and say it isn’t what you expected it would be. You take the good with the bad, man up and be there for it for as long as it needs you to be. Any director or actor will vouch for that. And in the light of Saif Ali Khan’s statements on the way his role in Humshakals shaped up (the film’s B-O run notwithstanding), these B-Town producers and directors offer their take on the matter…

David Dhawan: A film is like a baby sired by both the director and the actor. And no one abandons the baby just because it fails in life. At no stage, should the actor abandon a film or have regrets about doing it.

Shoojit Sircar: Where is the team spirit if an actor disowns a film? Every film is a result of the entire team’s hard work, director and actor included.

Aanand L Rai: An actor should doubt his own understanding and choice of scripts rather than blame anyone else. Any actor, or for that matter, any director can go wrong with the script. But then one should be man enough to blame oneself and not others.

Umesh Shukla: If a film project doesn’t match up to an actor’s expectations or if the actor is unhappy with the way a film is executed he or she might choose to react. A film is a team work where a producer, director and actor are equally responsible for the final outcome. And if everyone is happy while doing a film the actor should not turn around and crib just because a film doesn’t work.

Rahul Dholakia: Such instances of an actor disowning a film are rare. But it does happen. Box office failure should not be the reason for disowning or condemning a film. It’s fine to analyse the reasons why a film didn’t work. But being vocal about your dislike for how a film shapes up is another matter. That could depend on so many things. One can’t take a generalised view.

Reema Kagti: I don’t believe it’s possible to disown your own work. Criticism, if it comes out of giving an honest opinion, is okay by me.

Shailendra Singh: It’s rather unprofessional. I agree filmmaking and acting are a creative endeavour. But once you are paid for it, you turn it into a profession. You therefore need to be accountable for your own work. You can’t take home the pay cheque and say, ‘Oops, that shit ain’t mine!’

Ananth N Mahadevan: Actors sometimes tend to give the mandatory script and narration the miss specially when big names are involved. Not too many actors disown their works. Some speak openly about their mistakes. But the flip side to this is that they often overlook these faults when a close friend or a big corporate house is attached while they tend to go through the more genuine but smaller filmmaker with a tooth comb.

Hansal MehtaAll of us, including me, are on the defensive, when faced with a backlash. Nobody signs a film to disown or criticise it. People have various reasons to do films, including job satisfaction, respect, gratification and money. If they are clear about what they desire from a project before they sign, they won’t have reason to feel betrayed later. Failure and success are milestones in the larger journey.We should be concerned about the journey.

Satish Kaushik: An actor can surely blame himself and repent for selecting the wrong film. But at no point can he put the blame on others. and that too publicly ,and wriggle out of all responsibility about the way a film shapes up.. A film is a team effort. Its final outcome is the star’s and the director’s responsibility equally. Neither can wriggle out by pointing accusing fingers at the others.

Bejoy Nambiar: Everyone involved with a film should stand by it, irrespective of its fate.

Ajay Bahl: After being a part of a project it is unethical to cause any damage to it by speaking against it in the media or any other social or public platform.

Onir: I think it’s absolutely unprofessional and absolutely not done.

Gauri Shinde: This is really between the filmmaker and actor. Only they know what’s gone wrong between them. For an outsider, it is difficult to comment.