Filmmaker Aanand L Rai has directed and produced various critically and commercially acclaimed films like 'Raanjhanaa', 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan', but right now his focus is on growing as a storyteller and 'upgrading' himself.
In an interview with Outlook, Rai talks about the need to come up with stories which are out of his comfort zone for his growth.
"Why do we hold on to our success, because we like it. If success scares you, then what is the use? How will I appreciate that success? What is important is that I am learning something new? The day I take myself very seriously, there will be a problem. I have to take my work seriously, it is my stories, my films which have to reach somewhere. As a person, I am in a very calm state but what I have to achieve are my stories and that they should reach somewhere. So, it is important to understand the difference between enjoying your growth and staying content with yourself," Rai tells us.
The filmmaker, who has constantly bankrolled out-of-the-box subjects such as LGBTQ+ rights, Erectile Dysfunction amongst others, believes it is important to constantly try and grow.
"I want to entertain and that is one thing but if I want to stay safe, in my comfort zone and not try something new, then how will I come up with other stories? You make 'Tanu Weds Manu', then you make 'Tanu Weds Manu 2' and then you make three and fourth and so on but but that is only possible if you have something new to give to it. More than anything else, you have to grow. You have to grow as a director, in your communication with your audience and you have to grow. You have to promise them something bigger and work hard for them. 'Atrangi Re' was very important for me to get into that space," he says.
The filmmaker's recent film to release was 'Atrangi Re' starring Akshay Kumar, Dhanush and Sara Ali Khan. The film's story talks about a girl who projects her childhood trauma through a relationship.
Talking about dealing with a new subject in this film, he says it was important for his growth to tell this story.
"We grow with time and you understand things differently. I am a fortunate person, who is a director, who has a medium to tell these stories and show his own growth. I realised that it's time for me to upgrade myself, to come up with something which was there inside me. I wanted to deal with something like this. I wanted to tell this emotion of father-daughter in a different way. This is something which was very much there for me and I realised that this is the time to jump into this ocean of emotion," he says.
Rai's next productions include 'Good Luck Jerry', 'Action Hero'. He will once again direct Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film 'Raksha Bandhan'.