What do I find so special about Raju Hirani? My answer to that would be: what do I not find special about him? He is a filmmaker who has a great sense of story, a clear idea of what he wants to say through his films. He conveys it with a sense of humour. What he is saying is very important and dramatic, but the vehicle is always comedy. He is in absolute command of what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. Moreover, he has a strong conviction in what he is saying. He is a filmmaker who is also a writer and an editor. His entire approach to a film is strengthened further by that. He is also very honest with his material. As an actor he expects us to deliver a shot that is felt. While shooting he makes you believe that the moment is happening.
As a human being he is wonderful. He has no airs, no hang-ups, no inflated ego. He is a matter of fact and straightforward person. He is a gentle soul who can’t even hurt a fly. It’s always a great joy to work with him.
Though we worked together in 3 Idiots, I met him first at the premiere of Munnabhai MBBS. I was blown, fell in love with the heart-warming film.
He had once set up a meeting with me to bounce off the idea of a film in which he wanted to cast me. That meeting told me a lot about him as a person, he totally charmed me in that meeting. He was very awkward as he told me that he no longer wanted to make the film with me. He said that he had begun to see the material in a different light and would want to convert it into the second of the Munnabhai-Circuit series. I was curious to know what the original idea was. Originally it was about a man who was a follower of Gandhi and part of the freedom struggle. He gets a concussion on his head during a lathicharge in 1946 and goes into coma only to wake up in the 90s. It was about his reactions to the changed world around him.
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