Friday, November 6, 2009

Scriptwriters are Like Condoms in Bollywood

From writing crime thriller 'Tezaab' to comedy 'Chalbaaz', the path-breaking
'Rang De Basanti' to forthcoming 'Delhi-6' - writer Kamlesh Pandey has penned
many hits but says despite being in filmdom for two decades he hasn't got his
due. He claims scriptwriters are like condoms in the film industry - used and
"In our industry writers are like condoms - you use it and then throw
it or hide in a place where nobody can see it. We writers don't get our due.
Salim-Javed were the exceptions and they got recognition because of who they
were," Pandey told IANS over telephone from Mumbai.

"We need visibility
like stars and directors. We may not be as good looking as the actors, but we
writers are the first star of a film and the industry must realise this. Stars
can't guarantee success without a script. Most of the films recently flopped
because the script was weak," he asserted.

When! told that things have
changed and writers are getting more recognition now, he retorted: "I still need
evidence to accept that writers are getting recognition in our film industry.
Everything depends on success here. I was in the industry for decades, but
people rediscovered me after the success of 'Rang De Basanti'."

about Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Delhi-6" that releases Friday, he said:
"'Delhi-6' was a more difficult film to write because we had to experiment with
structure and treatment. We wanted to make a film that is serious yet entails a
comic streak."

Pandey has co-scripted the film with Mehra.

added that "Delhi-6", which has Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor in lead
roles, is more unique and ambitious than Mehra's earlier "Rang De

A striking similarity that is hard to ignore in the two films
is that both are set in Delhi, ! but the writer says it's just a

! "It's a coincidence that both the films are based in Delhi.
'Rang de...' revolved around the political system of our country and since Delhi
is the centre, it had to be based out of Delhi," said Pandey, who hails from
Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh but has spent considerable time in the national

"With 'Delhi-6', as the title suggests, we are targeting the old
Delhi area of the capital. Rakeysh is from Delhi; so he knows the culture, area
and attitudes of people there. Since he belongs to Delhi his experience brought
that special something in the script," he added.

The writer, who has
scripted all of Mehra's films, shares a great camaraderie with the filmmaker and
says he loves working with him because both of them don't believe in following
the herd.

"Rakeysh and I share the same concern, philosophies and issues.
We are completely in sync with each other. I would like to say that ! we have our
own lane, we don't care what others are doing, we don't follow the herd. It
doesn't matter to us whether the film will be a hit or not; what is most
important is the story and then complete honesty to the project. That's what
connects us," the writer said.

Pandey, who started his Bollywood career
by writing the dialogues of "Jalwa" (1987), went on to become a full-fledged
scriptwriter with hit film "Tezaab". He went on to pen movies like "Chalbaaz",
"Dil", "Saudagar", "Khalnayak" and "Zinda".

Currently, the writer has
various films in his kitty - B.R. Productions' "Kohinoor" and "Consignment", a
sequel to "Mr. India", Anil Kapoor Productions' next and a big budget science
fiction with Priyadarshan among others.