Reliance Big Pictures started the price hike of actors – Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra

Prembabu Sharma

Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, the man behind the success of Rang de Basanti is best known for writing and directing. The brooding film-maker has steered clear of the mad rush to make films and believes it makes more sense to make good films instead of many.

Ace director and producer, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, in a candid conversation with Komal Nahta on the show ETC Bollywood Business, thrashed corporate giants as their entrance has adversely affected Bollywood.

Explaining the vicious circle created by corporate giants entering Bollywood, the talented filmmaker said,” Most of the corporate have huge money and they play the upside game. The net worth of their companies are pretty high, hence corporate companies don’t mind paying 3/5/10 times the cost because the moment you make announcement through your full page advertisements, people see your name and would buy your company shares. Your share price rises from Rs.100 to Rs.400. If your company net worth is 1000 crores, it will become 4000 crores. So, there is a lot of paper money. You cannot escape the market. You are a part of market. Conventional directors and producers like me have to really be very wise and powerful to overcome this market situation else survival would become next to impossible. This market situation created by the corporates is like a whirlpool and people like me are swirling in it.”

Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra considers star price hike also as one the consequence of corporate existence in Bollywood. Explaining further, he said,” A lot has been said, written and discussed on price hike of stars.
According to me, a star never comes to your door and asks for huge amount of fees at gun point. There are producers that go and say, ‘Instead of 10 crores for a movie we will pay you 30 crores for 3 movies. ‘I don’t mind
saying it started with Reliance Big Pictures. As the pool of talent in our industry is limited, these corporate are trying to corner talents on their side by paying huge prices. This creates a star – (number of) movie imbalance,   demand – supply ratio disrupts in the industry. This has lead to the sufferings of all the conventional movie makers like me.”

After the debacle of Delhi6, Rakesh Mehra is upbeat about his next venture. The director/ producer stated, “The next movie that I would direct is Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The movie is biographical journey on the sports icon Milkha
Singh. The film is scripted by Prasoon Joshi. We want to cast a new face for this movie. The auditions are still going on and, as soon as the cast gets finalized, we would start shooting. I also want to make Bhairavi with
Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, but the script is still in process.”