Subhash Ghai: We lack good talent in our industry, hence most films don’t work


Filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s iconic film Khalnayak recently completed 30 years. Starring Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff, the film remains fresh in the audience’s mind even after all these years. While the filmmaker is happy about it, he expresses concern over the industry’s present situation at large. He points out how the space might be “growing, with more studios and production houses opening up”, and “more investors” coming in, but there is “dearth of talent”, resulting in fewer films that leaves an impact on people’s mind.

Subhash Ghai is known for films like Khalnayak and Pardes.
Subhash Ghai is known for films like Khalnayak and Pardes.

“We do not have enough talent to meet the growing demands of the country. That’s why, mediocre people are hired. If 20 good films are being made, only a handful has people who have the skills to make it successful. It’s our misconception that we have enough talented people and that’s why most films today are not working. And when I talk about talent, it includes everyone who runs the entertainment business- from director, content head, actor, editor to the technicians,” says the director, who goes on to questions, “Otherwise, despite having support from investors who are ready to put any amount on a project, why are most of our films not working?”

But could it be because not enough new people are given the chance to enter the film industry? And Ghai denies. “Even new people are given the chance to prove their potential. Investors only want profit and they are ready to put money on anyone and everyone who has the skill to do that . But jab wo bhi nahi kaam karta, toh these people (production houses) go back to the ones they know will bring business,” he shares.

Ghai says, 70 per cent of the people who are working in the industry and on “test and trial”. “They are good for nothing. For me, a talented person is someone who knows how to use his skills to deliver a good creative product. Otherwise, he is just a dreamer or an aspiring artiste,” he explains.

The Taal director believes there is illiteracy in people running the entertainment business. “Not all, but most of them do not even have knowledge of the job they doing. You need to be literate enough to understand and then deliver. Aapko writer banna hai par aapne Rabindranath Tagore nahi padha… Shakespeare nahi padha. So how do you expect to deliver,” he asks.

With OTT, he is happy that new people are getting a chance, but he says that even the talent needs to realize it’s a big opportunity and work accordingly. “OTT is a platform for aspiring talent to prove themselves and help the platform to earn money. Aapko paisa lagaane wala mila hai toh you need to make full use of the opportunity. Aap apne khwaab poore karne mein mat lagiye,” he warns the aspirants.

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