There’s no story in my mind without some man-woman dynamic: Imtiaz Ali

PTI, Feb 13, 2020, 2:29 PM IST

New Delhi: With “Love Aaj Kal”, starring Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan, Imtiaz is revisiting the theme of his 2009 original that explored the idea of love over two time periods.
“I am comfortable (with love stories) but it’s not that every story has to be like this. I will not want this comfort to restrict me from making any other kind of story that comes to my mind. It could be a story where there is no romance at all but that’s difficult to conceive (at this point in time),” the director told PTI.
Asked whether it was possible for an Imtiaz Ali film to have no romance, the director said he was wondering the same.
“Even in a story like ‘Highway’, it has a man (Randeep Hooda). I don’t have any story yet that doesn’t have a man and woman thing going on in some way. With the growing understanding of life and relationships, things will change, but in my mind, there’s no story without some sort of a man-woman dynamic,” he added.
The follow-up, he said, is not a sequel in the typical sense. It looks at the man-woman relationship with changing times.
“I’m not into making part twos or sequels but I realized ‘Love Aaj Kal’ is the only story of mine which is franchisable in away. Over the years, I found myself thinking, ‘If ‘Love Aaj Kal’ was made today, this is what would happen’,” Ali said.
“The previous generation was seeking absolutely something else… I have seen this dynamic changing so drastically in the last 10 years. Things that were pious like physical intimacy for a young man or woman… that was the final post. Now it’s the first thing, it means nothing now. It’s so dynamic. That’s how this film came through,” he added.
The 48-year-old filmmaker, who has come to be known as the master of modern romance in Hindi cinema with movies such as “Jab We Met”, “Rockstar” and “Tamasha”, agrees that his idea of love is more evolved today and his films will continue to reflect this growth.
“More than a shift, it’s an evolution. The earlier concepts, I had, ‘Let’s say ‘Socha Na Tha’, of love relationships have not replaced itself by another concept. It’s become more detailed and varied. It’s not that I’m looking in a different place. I’m looking at the same place, but you see different shades within that. I think movies that I make will have no option but to reflect that in some way or the other,” he said.
The idea of generational change in romance somehow reflects in Sara’s casting as Zoe, though the director said it was not the sole reason to get her onboard.
Asked about the criticism that his films have often been told from the male protagonist’s point of view, Imtiaz said, “The honest truth is that I cannot help it.”
“I have a certain point of view of women. If it’s a man’s point of view of looking at women, I hope it is respectful and loving. The reason there are these women in my films is that I have seen bits and pieces of them in my life,” he said.
The director said though he was open to collaborating with a woman, the gender of a writer should not matter.
“You don’t have to be a woman to understand another woman. You have to be an empathetic person, to begin with and even if a woman writer writes about Zoe, she is still not writing about herself. She is still writing about another person,” said the filmmaker.
Also starring Randeep Hooda and Arushi Sharma, the film is set to be released on Friday, February 14.

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