I feel Badlapur is Sriram Raghavan’s best film – Dinesh Vijan, Producer
Producer Dinesh Vijan has been in the industry for a decade now. He loves backing unconventional projects while also doing commercial ventures. The young producer started his journey with Being Cyrus and has gone on to produce films like Go Goa Gone, Finding Fanny, Happy Ending and Badlapur, his most current project. But it’s not all concept-heavy films, with Illuminati Films, his joint venture with Saif Ali Khan, the producer has also made commercial ventures like Love Aaj Kal, Agent Vinod and Cocktail. Badlapur releases under his solo banner Maddock Films.
What made you produce Badlapur? As a producer, did it seem like a risk?
I love Sriram Raghavan’s work. The last 5 minutes of the film is a message, but you will have to think about it. There is enough entertainment in it but strangely you will laugh at it and yet wonder why am I laughing? This film will let you linger. This is why I feel Badlapur is Sriram Raghavan’s best film.
I think the first film I made was Being Cyrus in 2004. I was also very young then. I was 23-24. So I don’t see this as a risk. I invest in the story. It is very important to like a story. There is no conscious decision to produce something different. When Badlapur was narrated to me, it really interested me. I was convinced with the script and hence decided to produce it. I dont have a strategy. For now, I think I should not make more than two films a year. And I will review that in two years.
How convinced were you when Sriram said he wanted to cast Varun Dhawan?
He didn’t say that. In fact, Sriram wanted an older guy. And my thought was that this kind of story needs a young actor. That time Varun Dhawan was only one film old. I wanted to cast Varun in the film and I spoke to Sriram, and he liked my suggestion. And co-incidentally, Varun called me up. So, I feel it is destiny. He came by and I narrated him the first draft. And trust me, Sriram now feels that the best thing to have happened to Badlapur is Varun Dhawan. He is such a committed actor and has crazy energy. He has become a matured actor. Varun has become the Raghu that Sriram wanted in his film.
Did you think of altering the script keeping in mind the Censor regulations?
I wanted this to be an unadulterated Sriram Raghavan film. Hence, I was very sure that I wouldn’t want to compromise on it. I am ridiculously impulsive and ridiculously patient at the same time. Sriram also would not have had it any other way.
Badlapur is releasing during the World Cup. Will it affect the business of the film?
World Cup yes, it will affect but fortunately there is no match on the day Badlapur releases. There is a match on Sunday in the morning so only one or two shows may get affected. We are lucky with that and there is nothing else. There is Qissa releasing with us, but since the genre is different it is alright.
You are also planning to turn director after this. Tell us about it. What do you plan to do after Badlapur?
I had an idea of directing last year itself, but that time I was producing four movies. I was silly to think I will direct a film. I don’t know whether I am good at it or not, but I think I can produce a movie, hence I am now trying my hand at direction. That’s all I can reveal. But first, I need a month long vacation. I have had four back to back projects. I need to rest, reflect and get back.