Director Priyadarshan believes that the allure of superstars will gradually be replaced by the power of good storytelling as films take a ‘more realistic turn.’ Priyadarshan, one of Bollywood’s most bankable filmmakers, has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Salman Khan in the 2005 drama ‘Kyon Ki…’, Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Billu’ (2007), and Akshay Kumar, his long-time collaborator on hits like ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Garam Masala’ and ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’.
While his films with the stars ranged from dramas to comedies, the 64-year-old director, who has worked in a variety of genres and languages for nearly four decades, believes that today’s audiences reject films that aren’t authentic.
‘The industry has changed. I think this is the last era of superstars. Whoever is enjoying today, Shah Rukh to Salman to Akshay… they should be thankful to God. Tomorrow, the superstar will be the content. I can see how films are taking a more realistic turn. You can’t exaggerate without a believable situation. Even in a comedy or a serious film, the make-believe should look right. I don’t think any film can fail if it looks convincing,’ Priyadarshan said.
He started his career in the 1980s directing Malayalam films like ‘Poochakkoru Mookkuthi’ and ‘Boeing Boeing’, both with superstar Mohanlal, and gradually moved to Tamil and Telugu industries. In the Hindi film industry, the filmmaker began helming acclaimed dramas in the following decade, including features like ‘Muskurahat’, ‘Gardish’ and ‘Virasat’.
The director said making ‘Hera Pheri’ — remake of the 1989 Malayalam film ‘Ramji Rao Speaking’ directed by the duo Siddique-Lal — was an attempt to break his dry spell at the box office, after films like ‘Saat Rang Ke Sapne’ and ‘Kabhi Na Kabhi’, both in 1998, failed to work.