Multi-starrer Amar Akbar Anthony promises a fun watch


Multi-starrer Amar Akbar Anthony promises a fun watch

The box office success of Amar Akbar Anthony should silence his critics for good.

By Deepa Gauri

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Published: Sun 22 Nov 2015, 3:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Nov 2015, 9:19 PM

There is something inspiring about the career history of Nadirshah. His first salary was a paltry Rs27.50. His job: Cutting stones at a factory. He, however, believed that he was rather lucky. After all, his friends, who are now extremely famous, were then trying desperately to find a foothold in life shuttling from one mimicry stage to another.
So when he next started writing parody songs and doing mimicry programmes, he thought he was even luckier. He had a job and he was doing what he liked. His optimism and sense of humour continue to be his biggest asset. That is why he did not feel dejected when his friends went on to become big names in the industry.
Over the past two decades, he has run the gamut of the industry. He has acted in supporting roles. He writes lyrics. He composes music. He does television. He even did a short film recently doing a role no other actor would have dared to touch - that of a necrophile.
But with Amar Akbar Anthony, his directorial debut, Nadirshah has finally arrived. It is a triumph that he deserved, for all practical purposes. The success was not easy, though. "I have seen the industry at extremely close quarters. I have seen highs and lows. And the one lesson I learnt is that the moment your chips appear to be down, the industry - and very soon the audience - will disown you. You become non-existent."
That is why he says that in directing Amar Akbar Anthony, he was taking a gamble of sorts. "If it had not worked, I would have been done with."
The box office success of Amar Akbar Anthony should silence his critics for good. The film starring Prithviraj, Indrajith and Jayasoorya is minting money at the box office. Nadirshah is now planning to direct the film in Tamil and Kannada, while also working on another film that is being scripted by the debutant writers of AAA, Bibin George and Vishnu Unnikrishnan, who were recommended to him by Kalabhavan Shajon.
The story that Bibin and Vishnu narrated, however, is not exactly what AAA is today. "They had named it Audience, and both of them wanted to act in the movie as two of the three protagonists with just one other known actor." Nadirshah then suggested the name Amar, Akbar and Anthony for the three happy-go-lucky heroes, who will eventually be forced to look at life from a different perspective when faced with a personal challenge.
For Nadirshah, making the film meant creating a movie that he personally would love to see. "The Hindi film Amar Akbar Anthony is the one I have watched the most number of times in my life. That is the sort of breezy entertainment I wanted to make." He approached the scripting from the perspective of the audience. "I manage a number of stage shows. During these, I randomly decide the order of the performances by studying the faces of the audiences. I can't have that luxury in film. So I sifted through every scene, evaluating it for all possible audience reactions."
Despite not being part of the film, his close friend and actor Dileep was by his side. "He was willing to produce and support in distribution too," says Nadirshah. "He said the casting was the film's strength."
Nadirshah also pens the lyrics for the movie that comes packaged with a message. "It was not my intention to pack in any social message but the story was foolproof. My goal was to make a film that audiences would watch without feeling that they were being taken for granted."
The success of Amar Akbar Anthony, now playing at theatres in the UAE, proves that he has struck the right notes.But going forward, he is sure of one thing: He is not going to this success for granted. "After all, it was my life and career at stake."

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