"Sridevi became a star because of 'Himmatwala'. I think that 'Himmatwala' was no less than a 'Mughal-E-Azam' for her", Sajid said in an interview. The official remake of original 'Himmatwala', which had actors Jeetendra and Sridevi in the lead, casts Ajay Devgn against south actress Tamannah.
"I personally don't know Sridevi, so I didn't speak with her about the film. I had a word with Jeetuji (Jeentendra) two days before I started shooting the film. He was glad to know that I am directing the film. "He said I was the right person to make the film, as according to him, I understood this genre very well.
He also blessed me", Sajid said. However, Sajid prefers his film to be called as a "rewrite" and not a "remake" in general sense of the word. "'Himmatwala' is one of my top five favourite Bollywood films. I am very fortunate that my name is associated with the movie. The film is a rewrite, and not a remake, based on the original film.
The essence of the original film is there in my version, but my treatment is completely different", he said. Sajid said though he made some changes in the original avatar of 'Himmatwala', he also carried forward the boisterous melodrama typical of 1980s in the new version. "The scenes and the characters in my version of the film are completely different.
I have added some nuances like slightly over-the-top acting, typical filmy scenes between mother and son which today's youths wouldn't have experienced", Sajid said.
"There is also 'Saas Bahu' kind of drama something which I have attempted for the first time. I am sure the makers of the 1983 musical blockbuster will also enjoy my film", he said.
Sajid said he wanted to recreate the magic of 80s on silver screen again and hence decided to make this film. "These kinds of films were prevalent only during the 80's. There was over-the-top heroism, the protective brother, a mother giving fiery dialogues to the villain. These kinds of films haven't been made in many years. We don't see such kind of scenes.
That is why I decided to make this film", the director said. When asked if the audience was willing to enter the groove of the bygone era, Sajid quipped that the melodrama has been kept alive by Ekta Kapoor. "Thanks to Ekta Kapoor.
The melodrama has still been alive. The only thing is that it has moved from films to television. I am sure it will work in our films if it is rightly shown", he said. Sajid said film-making is an art of narration.
"Hindi films are all about storytelling. Arguably the greatest living director today is Rajkumar Hirani. His storytelling is so simple. Films like 'Kahaani' or 'Vicky Donor' were simply all about storytelling", he added.