Punit Malhotra: Student of the year 2 is about resurrection and making a comeback. Tiger Shroff pointed to the similarity in the story with my life
Punit Malhotra Is Super Enthusiastic About The Release Of ' Student Of The Year 2 '(' SOTY 2 '), A Long-awaited Film From 2019. But That Is Not The Only Reason Why It Is Special To Him. It Also Marks His Return To Filmmaking After He Remained Inconspicuous For Six Years After The Debacle Of His Last Film" Gori Tere Pyaar Mein" (" GPTM" ), A Film That Taught Him Important Lessons About Life. The Director, Coming From A Family Of Performers, Is Back In The Game With A Feel-good Love Story On Campus. Read On To Know What The Filmmaker Has To Say About Overcoming Failures, Making A Comeback And Falling In Love ...
Why Did It Take Six Years To Get Direction After Your Last Performance With" GTPM" ?
Technically, It's Been Five And A Half Years. After 'GTPM' Flopped, I Needed Time To Introspect. I Was Depressed For About 10 Months, Where I Was Sitting At Home And Doing Nothing. Eventually, I Realized That The Only Way Out Was To Pull Up My Socks And Start Working Hard Again. That’s When" SOTY 2" Came About. It's Been A Journey Of About Four Years. The Original Draft Was A Completely Different Story. Tiger Came On Board And He Was Happy To Do The Movie. However, We Pulled The Plug On It In 2017, Exactly Three Months Before The Shoot Was Scheduled To Commence. It Did Not Have The Right Energy That We Wanted. So, I Went Back To The Drawing Board And Rewrote The Whole Script.
Was The Pressure To Put Yourself Together And Get Much More Back Because You Come From A Family Of Overachievers, Such As Fashion Designer Manish Malhotra And Your Grandfather, Producer Ram Dayal Sabarwal, Who Launched Rekha?
I Was Quite Hard For Myself. When I Was Looking For Answers At That Time, Someone Gave Me The Advice Of My Life, What Was ..." You Keep Looking For Answers, But You Will Not Find Them." And That's Right, I Still Have No Answers. Ask Me Why" GTPM" Has Failed? I Do Not Know. Did I Work Hard At It? Yes I Did. Is There Anything I Could Have Done Differently? Could Be. But These Are Things You Say Afterwards. I Wake Up Every Day With The Wish That It Didn't Happen. It Was, After All, My First Failure, Causing Me Great Sorrow. Kareena (Kapoor-Khan) And Imran (Khan) Were Much More Mature Than Me. They've Gone Through A Longer Journey. I Can Tell You That I Didn't Get It Right. They Still Have A Very Good Comparison With Me. If I Were In Their Place, I Would Not Have Looked At Me (laughs!). But Then You Have To Go Further, Put Your Head Down And Work Hard. It Was Not Just About Making A Film, But Also About Working, Paying Bills And Making Money. In Between, I Started A Company With Karan Johar And Made A Lot Of Commercials. The Idea Was To Keep Polishing And Honey My Craft. I Think People Saw My Hard Work And Maybe, That's Why I Was Given Another Chance.
What Was It Like To Start Over?
The Very First Time I Walked Onto A Set, I Questioned My Talent - Whether I Could Directly Or Not? But I Had Several Ads In The Meantime, Which Helped Rebuild My Trust. Still, Going To A Movie Set Again Was An Emotional Moment For Me. I Must Give Credit To People And My Team Who Have Backed Me. Yes, There Were Some Who Vanished, But There Were Also Those Who Joined The Project For Me And That Shows Their Love For Me. A Lot Of Actors Also Called And Told Me That It's Okay And That They've All Been Through This At Some Stage In Their Career. The One Man Who Stood By Me During My Failure Is Karan Johar. I Was Fortunate That A Lot Of Support Came My Way.
You Said You Had To Rewrite The Script. What Did You Have To Change To The Original Draw?
Well, The First Draft Was A Bit Serious. And 'SOTY' Has A Loyal Audience Including Teenagers, Who May Not Want To See Something That Serious. If I Try To Put Too Much Depth In 'SOTY 2' And Give A Message, I Will Get A Kick In My Face. I'm Not Saying That It Doesn't Have Depth, But You Have To Go With The Emotion And Vibe Of The Film. Every Film Has Its Own Fabric And You Need To Be Honest To It; This Is Something I Learn With 'GTPM'. It Was A Romcom, Which Failed Because It Got Serious In The Second Half. I Realized That No Matter What You Make, You Need To Be Honest To The Subject.
In This Era Of Realistic Cinema, Are You Afraid That A Movie Like 'SOTY 2' Will Come Across As Frivolous
I Wouldn't Like To Believe That, Because The Audience Has Been Exposed To The World That We've Tried To Project So Far. Now We Will Steer Them Into A Different World. If You Ask, Whether It Is Still Commercial, Fluffy, Feel-good Cinema? Yes, It Is. There Is An Aspirational Value To The Film As People Hope To Be In A School Like The One Shown In The Film. The Movie Is About A Small-town Boy Who Gets Enrolled In An Upscale College, Gets Thrown Out, Goes Back And Fights That. At Its Heart, It Is The Story Of An Underdog, Who Comes Of Age.
Karan Said He Made" SOTY" At 40, Because He Was Going A Midlife Crisis And Wanted To Feel Young. What Was Your Reason?
The Story Of 'SOTY 2' Is Similar To My Personal Experience - Or Resurrection And Making A Comeback. Tiger Saw The Similarity In The Story With My Life And Pointed It Out. The Story Is About Realizing Your Dream And I Hope That Emotion Comes Through. If You Get A High Watching Tiger's Character And Seeing Him Lift The Trophy, You Will Feel The Same For Me.
After Working With Stars, How Was It Directing Debutantes, Tara Sutaria And Ananya Panday ?
While established stars are trained And know what they are doing, there is an element of surprise with a newcomer. There could be a drastic difference between how you would expect them to be And how they turn out. It’s a fine balance that you get in between that. And it’s exciting because you have to get them to your pitch.
For Someone Who's Grown Up Watching Mushy Romances, Your First Film Was Strangely Titled" I Hate Luv Storys." So, Where Do You Exactly Stand On The Topic Of Love? Do You Believe In It Or Not?
I have not been in love in a while. We are a generation, where love has become Tinder. It’s more about compatibility than blind love. This is a fast-food generation, which seems to reflect in their attitude towards love, too. I believe in love And am hoping it will happen to me, too, but there is also a cynic in me who thinks that it’s all rubbish.