Lights, camera, emotions...

Anil Sharma hates watching action films, makes plenty of them. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.  

IF YOU ask Anil Sharma, the director of "Elan-e-Jung", "Tahelka", "Gadar," and now "The Hero", what prompts him to make films on patriotism, he will retort, "Is making a film on patriotism a sin? There are people who make films on Indian culture and heritage and don't present heroines in decent clothes."

But his films on patriotism always underplay one community. "Which community? Come out clear. You are afraid to take name. I will tell you. This is Muslim community you are talking about. And mind you I never try to show Muslims as enemies. If it had been the case, I would have got love mails from people from all over Pakistan, UK, US, Paris and other countries. My film `Gadar' has been loved mostly by them specially Sakina's - Amisha Patel - character."

Anil Sharma recalls: "Recently I went to Paris where I met a Muslim couple from Pakistan in a showroom. I was with my wife. As soon as he recognised me, he hugged me and screamed in happiness, `what a film you have made. My family and I loved Sakina's character in the film,' so much so that they bought its DVD and watch the film almost everyday at home. My wife shopped for 1000 dollars but that fellow, who owned this showroom did not take even a single penny from us, instead he treated us to a gala dinner."

Sitting at DT Cinema Hall on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road where he has arrived for a press briefing of "The Hero", Anil Sharma appears a confident man, sure of his ways.

Is Sunny Deol his all time favourite?

"I love him and fits in my macho-man's character."

Not bored of action-packed films? "Bored? I hate action films! I never watch any action film at home. I watch only comedy or emotionally charged films."

So why does he make such films?

"I followed my heart earlier. I made a film on emotional background called `Maharaja'. That never clicked but when I made `Gadar' it proved to be a huge success. Kya karoon, only such films draw huge crowd and money. When I make one `Gadar' or `The Hero', I have a return of 100 crore in my mind. A comedy or sentiments-based film cannot give me this much return. And you cannot make a `Devdas' everyday. Moreover, if I make one comedy film, it will remain in segments and a few people would go for it. Emotions are all shown on soap operas. I would love to make a film like `Life is Beautiful' but I am helpless."

So will his next make will also be on a similar theme? "No, I got so bored of bomb and crackers that I decided to make a film which has sentiments as its assets." The film though has war backdrop but it tells a tale of a greedy father's son who undergoes emotional trauma due to his father.

And Anil promises you it might remind you of the making of "Gone With The Wind" and "Sound of Music".

Well, we would love to believe!