The filmmaker tells OTTplay about the feedback he has received for his first direct-to-OTT release Hungama 2, which released on Disney+ Hotstar last month
Facing flak for his Bollywood remakes is nothing new for director Priyadarshan. But even the award-winning filmmaker agrees he was surprised by the number of views that Hungama 2, which is the remake of his Malayalam movie Minnaram starring Mohanlal, raked in despite the negative reviews.
Talking to OTTplay, Priyadarshan said, “I was reading that Hungama 2 got 7.6 million views this week, which is much ahead of the other films streaming now. So, the reviews and opinions don’t matter at all for viewers. People who have seen the original 1994 Mohanlal movie Minnaram might not have liked Hungama 2, but those who are enjoying it are laughing based on the situations and not the performances.”
Hungama 2 had Meezaan Jafri playing the lead character along with Pranitha Subhash, Shilpa Shetty and Paresh Rawal. Priyadarshan is quick to justify the casting, based on how the views that film has already got. “You cannot compare Mohanlal to Meezan, who is a newcomer. Mohanlal is one of the greatest actors India has ever seen; so there really is no comparison. The people of Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, where you get the biggest collections from, haven’t seen Mohanlal’s work; for them these are fresh films. Their expectations aren’t based on how Mohanlal’s role is played by someone else. They are not going to compare; that is only done by reviewers,” he says.
The director also says that it wouldn’t deter him from remaking more movies in Bollywood. “I am not bothered about remaking films in Bollywood. If you notice, most Bollywood remakes have been flops, I am probably the only one who has succeeded. I have made 30 films in Bollywood. If there weren’t hits, I wouldn’t have survived as a filmmaker there for so long,” he says.
Priyadarshan is now gearing up for his segment in the Netflix anthology Navarasa. He has directed Summer of ’92, which has Yogi Babu, Remya Nambeesan, Nedumudi Venu and this year’s Bigg Boss Malayalam winner Manikuttan in the lead roles. The anthology will be released on August 6.