Abbas Tyrewala‘Script of ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ was rejected four times’
22nd July 2008  11.00 IST
By Sibasish Tinsel Town

Scriptwriter-turned-director Abbas Tyrewala whose debut film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na hit the bull’s eye at the Box Office, says writers are still given raw deal and suffer from an identity crisis in the film industry.

“Not many know that the script of the film was rejected four times by some of the big corporate producers,” says Tyrewala.

Script writers often remain unnoticed in Mumbai’s film industry, but the rejection which Tyrewala received seems a little unfair considering his reputation for penning scripts for some of the most successful and acclaimed films like Maqbool and Munnabhai MBBS .

“The problem is that the people who are supposed to evaluate the scripts at the corporate houses know very little about cinema and unless that changes, we are going to have bad films,” he adds.

Talking about the film, he says, “The script appealed to Aamir Khan so much that he decided to produce it. A R Rahman too liked it and decided to give music at a very nominal remuneration.”

So, what kind of challenges did the newly turned director face in his almost nine year long career as a scriptwriter?

“The biggest challenge is when a very good script is not made into a good film or get stuck at the pre-production stage due to financial problems.

“That happens too often in a scriptwriter’s life and the film industry is not organised enough to compensate the writer for the loss. We don’t even get back our scripts sometimes,” says the writer.

However, he adds that the fault is not entirely of the film industry but some scriptwriters are also responsible to some extent.

When asked if he wishes to return back to his first love, scriptwriting, Tyrewala says, “Writing is more appealing but on money terms it is less rewarding.”

The journey of making ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ has been a road to discovery for the writer-director himself.

“I think the biggest journey of ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ is that I started trusting people again. I was feeling very lonely and sad because of something that happened in my personal life. I was going through a rough patch,” Tyrewala says.

“At that time I wanted to feel motivated again. I wanted to test whether I still had the ability in me to inspire people and that’s how the film happened and direction helped me a lot.”

The director accepts that his film is nothing but a new wine in old bottle as he has tried to revisit every possible cliché in Indian cinema.

With the much publicised rivalry between ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ and Love Story 2050 has the director had any chance to watch the science fiction love story?

“No I haven’t been able to. But I think it is not my kind of film. I am not their target audience.”

But he quickly clarifies, “It is a very brave film. I think Indian audiences are still not ready to watch a science fiction film that has been made in India but it is a visionary film and we have a star in Harman,” says Tyrewala adding that the story needed a little integration to make it work at the box office.

When asked to compare writing and direction on the scale of job satisfaction, Tyrewala said, “As a writer you can feel satisfaction after writing a good script but as a director you are not sure till Friday.”

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