Zoya Akhtar, known for making unconventional films like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ strongly believes in star system that exists in Bollywood and feels it is important to have commercial success.
Star system is important. If you see worldwide, India, Hollywood and China – all these three (film) industries have a star system. Rest (of the film) industries like Europe and other countries don’t have stars and their (film) industries are dying.
She has worked with big stars in both of her films and like Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol and her younger brother Farhan Akhtar, Zoya said India has survived Hollywood.
We have our language; we have our own style, so our audience would want to see a Shah Rukh Khan and not Tom Cruise. Our star system has made our industry grow. So I definitely have a lot of respect for that and I understand that.
She also describes a film star,
They are called stars because no matter what the film is, they get an opening. Stars pull people. But having said that, stars want to cater to their audience by doing what has worked before. So you can’t make too many films with them because they (stars) don’t want to experiment. They want that safety and that is the problem.
Zoya also wrote Talaash with director Reema Kagti, experimenting for the first time with the suspense genre.
My challenges were to keep the story engaging, give depth to the characters and also focus on their emotional chord. Our audience relate to emotional quotient. So, if you don’t connect them emotionally, they will not watch (a film).
She said she would like a balance of commercially viable and critically acclaimed projects.
I feel both are important. Commercial success is important. But if I make a film and it makes money, but if the audience says they didn’t like it at all, I will be disappointed. I want everybody to watch my films and like it.