Exclusive! Kiara Advani: I’m not a horror movie fan

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15 years after Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa, it’s time for Anees Bazmee to take the story of that haunted haveli forward and take the mystery of Manjulika ahead. This time, the leads are Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani. 

Advani and Bazmee recollect the memories of watching the first film and opine about the growth of content in the last two years. The actress recalls, “I think Bhool Bhulaiyaa was the first ever horror film that I watched in a cinema hall, and also probably the first ever horror film that I watched. I must have been 14 or 15. I went with my group of friends. So I’m not a horror movie fan, because I get spooked out very easily. So I decided that if I choose a horror film, it has to be the right film that has horror and comedy and I don’t see a woman sleep at night in my room and all.”

She adds, “So that’s why Bhool Bhulaiyaa clicked and naturally it was a cult film. Even today when you watch it, it’s so fresh. Having to take this franchise forward, it was a no-brainer yes. Anees sir called me and narrated the entire script to me. Of course, it’s an entirely new film, the story line is new, it’s fresh. The whole premise of the film is completely different. But we are keeping the essence of the original in this film so that you feel the nostalgia, be it the title track, Ami Jetho Ma, the character of Manjulika, the name of the ghost, and all of that. But everything else is completely new, so let’s hope people enjoy this one.”

Talking about the evolution of content and the society over the last few years, Advani has this to say, “I think films have always mirrored society and they have been a reflection of the society from the time we started. More than the evolution, I think it’s also the exposure. We are exposed to different mediums today, especially the OTT, foreign language films, cultures, what’s happening world over. It’s changing the taste of the viewers, having said that, we are still a country that thrives on celebrations. That’s why I say it has to be the perfect marriage of content and commerce. And this is the best time that it could’ve have happened because as actors, you can do all kinds of films and cater it to the right people and the right audience.”

Anees Bazmee recalls his thoughts on the first film now. He says, “Exactly the same as everyone else’s thoughts. It’s a beautiful film, a cult film, everyone did very well. I didn’t know at that time that I was going to make a sequel to this film. The success and popularity of that film has put me in tension. Priyadarshan is a fantastic director, Akshay Kumar was very good in the film and so was Vidya Balan. When you make a sequel, there’s some tension because there will be comparisons and we cannot avoid that. But as writers and directors, we have to make sure that the quantum of the comparisons is low, we get the same love that the earlier film received. We have taken some good things about the previous film in our film. You’ll be reminded of the first Bhool Bhulaiyaa but you won’t be watching the same film.”

He goes on, “if the second part is the same as part one, you’d rather watch part one again, right? I’ve used some things about the first film that I really liked, in this film. Two songs, in particular, the title track and the song Ami Jetho Ma. I like this song so much, I wanted to put it in the film for at least 3-4 times. But every time that song plays out in our film, you’d be surprised. And when people saw the title song, they gave us a lot of compliments. They didn’t say we ruined a good song from the past. That was a very good song and Akshay Kumar made a lot of quirky expressions throughout so our way of shooting the same song had to be different. Luckily, everyone liked and said, ‘Haan yaar, bahut achcha hai.’ I would hope the entire film is the same.”

Originally published at www.mid-day.com

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