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Vikas Bahl on the success of Shaitaan: “Ajay Devgn generously stepped back to let R Madhavan take centre-stage”

Written by on March 11, 2024

Vikas Bahl’s last film Ganapath was an absolute dud. But he has bounced back with Shaitaan, an excursion into eeriness which is a huge box office winner.

Vikas Bahl on the success of Shaitaan: “Ajay Devgn generously stepped back to let R Madhavan take centre-stage”

Vikas is over the moon. “I’ve to be thankful to my crew and cast, especially Ajay Devgn, who was a producer on the project and could have easily insisted on playing the powerful title role. But he generously stepped back to let Madhavan take centre-stage. It takes an actor of exceptional generosity and confidence to do that. But I must say Ajay is exceptional as a father trying to protect his children from evil. I would like to see Shaitaan as an emotional family drama, rather than a supernatural thriller. Madhavan has brought in elements into his character that we never thought of. It is an incredible performance,” he said.

Surprisingly, Vikas is not too enamoured of the horror genre. “I don’t watch horror, so it’s a fully new world for me. It’s exciting to create with very little viewing experience, so I’m hoping it’s unique for that reason. I did almost take a self-tutorial to train myself. I watched a lot of the work by the masters of the supernatural thrillers. Along with the chills, Shaitaan is an emotional journey with no forced scenes to create the horror. It also deals with black magic, which makes it different from other horrors as the demon feels more true and around us,” said the filmmaker.

Vikas is full of praise for his cast. “Ajay Devgn is beyond genres. He breaks all boundaries as a star and the audience depends on his choice of films as he keeps changing benchmarks continuously. Maddy was a vital choice as his sweet adorable image was going to help create this demon in a unique way. And he’s done more than justice to it. Jyotika we’ve all been fans of for years and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to lure her back to Hindi cinema. So, we found something which I was hoping she won’t say no to,” he said.

The Queen director admits his last film Ganapath didn’t turn out the way it was meant to. “I jumped into Shaitaan overlapping with Ganapath,” he said.

In the meanwhile, there is the sequel to Queen in the pipeline. “We are in the middle of writing, so hopefully we have the screenplay ready soon. It seems like we just made Queen, which turned 10 last week. I remember it as the most beautiful journey ever. And I’m glad we cracked the story for the next before the tenth year got over. Did you realize both were released in the same week of March? I think I should celebrate my birthday in March instead of May,” said Vikas.

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