Then when it was time for Spielberg to ask some questions:
Who has made an action movie recently?
No hands raised, even with Abbas-Mastan (Race 2), Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur), Ashutosh Gowariker (Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se), Bejoy Nambiar (David), Kunal Deshmukh (Jannat 2) in the audience. Some people even prompted the Burmawala brothers to raise their hands, but the duo desisted.
Who has made a comedy recently?
One hand goes up, Homi Adajania’s.
Aww. Come on these are broad genres. Ok. Who has made a musical recently?
Awkward laughter but still no hands. Mr Bachchan then had to clarify that everybody makes musicals in Bollywood. Were our filmmakers shying from owning up to their work?
Most intelligent question of the evening award
Jaya Bachchan: Would you rather not make a film because it did not have the right actor?
It prompted the director to excitedly narrate how Daniel Day Lewis came to star in Lincoln, at Leo DiCaprio’s behest, after refusing the film twice.
You have made all kinds of films. But you have never made a love story? Like between a man and woman? Why?
Our report: Really? A love story like, say, Teri Meri Kahaani?
When people talk about Indian cinema, they still talk of Satyajit Ray. But we have other good names too. How can Indian filmmakers improve their exposure and market in the West?
Our report: To start with, by making good quality cinema!
In your early career, did you ever feel the pressure to ape some other filmmaker in order to be successful?
Our report: Is that how it happens in Bollywood?
As a filmmaker, you make films emotionally. But how do you remain true to your emotions, talk about your personal relationships and yet make it work at the box office?
Our report: Hmm… perhaps you should ask Mahesh Bhatt.
First you made child-like, warm films like E.T. But now one notices a turn toward more serious cinema like Lincoln. Is it a conscious decision?
Our report: Sure. Plus, who would watch E.T. in today’s age, especially after seeing Koi Mil Gaya?
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
We love you. God bless you!
Our report: Glad I don’t have to answer that one.