The year 2019 ended on a bang with debutant director Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz striking gold at the box-office. The film starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kiara Advani and Diljit Dosanjh continues to mint good money at the ticket windows. The movie has raked in nearly Rs 180 crore so far and there’s no stopping.
We got chatty with filmmaker Raj Mehta who marks his directorial debut with the film. Here are some excerpts from our conversation with him:
Having seen Akshay Kumar or Diljit Dosanjh in Good Newwz, their astuteness for comic timing must have played on your mind, while casting them...
In a way, you are right. I always wanted Diljit for the part because I needed someone with good comic timing, who could be slightly loud yet not caricaturish and plus, there had to be a certain innocence about him. Kareena was also on my mind. Akshay Sir happened by accident.
Was it Karan Johar who suggested Akshay's name to you?
Yes, he even said it at the trailer launch wherein he narrated the incident about how he went to meet Akshay to narrate him another script, but eventually, Akshay got sold on the script of Good Newwz. Then we had a few narrations and he was onboard.
Diljit has raised his bar as a performer with this film. Kiara's role wasn't loud enough, so we can say he was countering Akshay-Kareena solo in the film...
I think Diljit hasn't done comedy in Hindi films before. I have seen some of his Punjabi films and he is brilliant. I always felt he would be amazing for the part which I gave him in Good Newwz.
How did you stop at junctures where you could have crossed the line of vulgarity?
We were careful about it from the scripting stage. If you see the film in totality, apart from minor improvisations, the film is pretty much the same that we had written. Also, I had an advantage that the writer of my film, Jyoti Kapoor has been through the IVF process. So the sensitivity of the subject also came from Jyoti who has experienced it in real. We sat and were very careful that we don't cross the line of vulgarity.
Did Akshay and/or Kareena give any suggestions?
Yes absolutely. There were instances when they felt that certaing things could be dealt with in a sensitive manner. They both told me unhesitatingly and we worked on it.
How did the idea of the sperm mix-up come from?
It came from Jyoti only. She had gone through the process. I don't think she had a successful attempt but I think this film was the baby she gave birth to eventually.
If we talk about Diljit and Kiara's characters, you brought them quite late in the film which was a smart move. Else the film might have become too loud...
That was the way the script was structured wherein you're basically following one couple and then another couple happens to enter their life at a certain stage and all hell breaks loose.
The inclusion of 2 Ws and 1 Z in the title Good Newwz is due to your belief in numerology?
Yes, it was suggested to me and now after seeing the results, I'm certainly not complaining. Numerologically, it was adding up to a better number, so we went ahead with the 2 Ws and 1 Z.
Two scenes in particular, impressed me the most- the bar scene between Akshay and Diljit and then those scenes where they keep on saying 'Get out, get in'. Any scene where you had to work extra hard?
The emotional scenes towards the end, when Akshay sees the premature baby and breaks down. I feel as a director, emotional scenes are the kind where you can only direct an actor to an extent. It's up to the actor to portray it further. So that was one part where I relied on my actors more than I relied them on in the comic scenes. The other scene was Kareena's monologue wherein she gives it back to Akshay.
I have a couple of subjects in mind that I have discussed with Dharma but I have not l
Image Source:- twitter/PureBoxOffice1
Image Source:- twitter/PureBoxOffice1
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