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‘I want to make Tom Cruise dance’

Filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan delivered a Masterclass ‘Step-Up’, at the ongoing International Film Festival of India 2019 (IFFI 2019)


Farah Khan may be an acclaimed choreographer, filmmaker, writer, producer and host of televisions shows, but the renowned Bollywood name believes that her primary role is that of being a mother to her three children. “Everything else revolves around them,” she said at a Masterclass ‘Step-Up’ at the ongoing 50th edition of IFFI which was moderated by film critic Rajeev Masand.

Especially noted for her choreography of popular item songs like ‘Munni Badnam Hui’, ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ etc, she stated that back in the 90s and early 2000s, this seemed perfectly okay.

“Now as you learn and grow you realise that this is not the right thing and women should not be objectified. Back then the actresses were also okay with it but now they are careful as sometimes people are sensitive about frivolous things. So a lot has changed over the years,” she said.

Speaking further about her choreography, she said that every song of hers is almost like a short film as it always has a beginning, middle, and end. “I like to treat every song as a short story. My songs have a little story, humour, dance.”

Having directed four movies in 12 years, Khan believes that the best directors are those who have a clarity about what they want to do.  She added that no director should be told what to make and this pressure should not be put on anybody. “Everybody needs to make a film that comes from within you and which you are comfortable making,”

she said.

Khan, whose films are very energetic and highly entertaining, in fact admires films that let her breathe. She said: “The only thing a film should not do is make me bored. A film should make you feel.”

And while there is a pressure today for films to give a social message, Khan does not feel that this is the film’s primary objective. “If a society has to be turned around by films than Gandhigiri would be the new religion which it clearly is not. And India and Pakistan would be at peace post ‘Main Hoon Na’,” she said.

Being a woman director, Khan has also been very clear that she does not want to be known as a woman director who makes commercial films. “I genuinely do not think a director needs to be known by their gender. It is not a gender specific job. Gender discrimination is something I rejected right at the beginning when they would ask me to do photo shoots with other female directors. And then there are talks about gender parity and pay parity. It will never happen if you gender divide,” she said.

She further added that if actresses feel that they are being paid less or have it harder it is only because it is a business module. “Films of big heroes tend to get more business and I blame the audience for that because they want to go watch those films over a female-centric film. The minute a female-centric film becomes a hit, everything will change,” she said.

Speaking on the remix culture wherein a lot of old Bollywood songs are being remixed, and having herself choreographed the recent Govinda and Raveena Tandon’s iconic song ‘Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare’ for the film ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, Khan said: “I am really fed up of remixes. I think it is because people like listening to these. Also, I think it is a call that the music industry has taken and they feel it is doing very well. Obviously these songs have a nostalgic value to it and you will always enjoy retro songs.”

Khan who is also hosting a  quiz show ‘Backbenchers’ at present and is doing pretty well, said that shows are doing well on the digital platform. “I think it is the medium for the future for sure and for content makers it is a boom time,” she said.

And while she has had success in her various endeavours, Khan admitted that she has had her share of struggles and failures too.

“Everybody goes through failures. I have had many failures and careerwise my big failure was ‘Tees Maar Khan’. Failure taught me to work on my mistakes and be a kinder person,” she said.

Looking ahead , Khan also revealed cheekily:  “I wants to make Hollywood actor Tom Cruise dance!”

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