Farhan Akhtar has constantly proven to be a pivotal force, doing things with projects he is on that dictate the future course of Bollywood, be it with Dil Chahta Hai or Gully Boy. He has made clear, through his actions, that content is king. Now he has said it in an interview with the Times of India, too.

He seems to dislike the trend of deciding the worth of a film on behalf of the money it makes at the box office. “The fact is that film-making is an art form as well as a business, so both are important, but one cannot overshadow the other. In recent times, it had become an unfortunate reality where the box-office figures overshadowed the strength of the content, and if something had strong content, but didn’t have a business to boast of, it was not be considered a successful film. But film-making is beyond only the box office performance of a movie. That is something that we must respect.”

He believes the people within the fraternity need to begin respecting the craft first and rid themselves of this outlook before they begin to expect others to do it, adding, “That change really has to start from within us. If we can make the audience believe that we think that it is the content that’s important and it needs to be respected, then everybody will follow it.”

As a filmmaker, Akhtar pays attention first to his baser, inner feelings before he listens to what the rest of the world has to say. “You have to go with your instinct. Though you are making the film for the audience, your work has to be honest, you have to be honest with yourself first. If you can’t do that, then you can’t be honest with the audience,” he said, addressing a question about him and Priyanka Chopra not being deemed fit to play Milkha Singh and Mary Kom respectively in their biopics.

“If a director wants to cast me in a film as Milkha Singh, it is his vision. I connect to that vision and story and do the best that I can,” said part of his statement.

Farhan Akhtar was last seen in Toofaan alongside Mrunal Thakur. He will be in the director’s chair after almost a decade for a road trip film, Jee Le Zara which will star Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt.


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