Akshat Ghildial is the writer of the National Award-winning film Badhaai Ho and the recently released film Badhaai Do. While still enjoying the acclaim for the latter, Akshat spoke about how writing films that attempt to break gender stereotype and his upcoming projects, the much-awaited Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Indian adaptation of THE INTERN and Siddhant Chaturvedi starrer Yudhra at a RoundTable of the conversations platform Khul Ke.
Khul Ke is the only platform to allow video, audio and text-based conversations among moderators, panelists and the audience. It is touted to elevate conversations. The RoundTable with the renowned writer was moderated by Priyanka Sharma for her show “Script to Success”.
While both Badhaai Ho and Badhaai Do have contributed to conversations around female agency and queer stories, Akshat Ghildial shared on Khul Ke that he tells stories if they are engaging, social message irrespective.
“If an idea interests me I will develop it. I didn’t go looking for an idea that broke stereotypes. My idea is to entertain people and not to educate them. Films are not moral science classes and education is not my forte. We put undue pressure on cinema sometimes. I develop ideas that I find interesting, whether people find them relevant or not is up to them. I cannot take the credit if people’s mindsets are changing toward gay men. As it totally depends on the audience how they respond to the film”.
Speaking on writing two consecutive films on socially-relevant issues, Akshat promptly replied, “It is very easy in the industry to get pigeonholed. After Badhaai Ho, I got 5 stories on pregnancy! I went straight to my wife and asked her why am I getting only stories related to pregnancy, I am not a gynaecologist. It left me flummoxed because for me Badhaai Ho was about a family dealing with the embarrassment of late pregnancy. I do not want to be writing the same genres and hence making a conscious effort to explore more.”
Akshat Ghildial has been in the industry for over seven years, he started his career in advertising which paved his way to film writing but his transition wasn’t easy. He grew up loving cinema and watched Bollywood as well as Hollywood films as a kid and Kaala Patthar and Godfather were his favourites. However, being an introvert it took him some time to muster the confidence to be able to narrate his own scripts and learn the tricks of the trade. Every person who enters the industry has taken inspiration from somewhere, for Akshat it was legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan and as he watched Kaala Patthar on repeat as a kid, he knew he wanted to do something in the film industry. Speaking on now adapting the international film THE INTERN starring his idol, Akshat shared, “It’s like a dream come true, a real honour to be writing for the legend. Honestly, it is a little unnerving, but we are all professionals trying to give our best.’’
He further added, “I honestly thought the adaptation was less work but it isn’t. THE INTERN is a relationship drama between a senior professional who joins as an intern in a company and his CEO who is in a shaky position both professionally and personally. The script is still under work as we need to adapt it to appeal to the Indian sensibilities, which doesn’t mean cosmetic changes but changing it inside out while keeping the spirit alive.” Akshat has his hands full with a mixed bag of films that he is currently working on. Apart from THE INTERN, he is also busy writing the dialogues for Yudhra along with Farhan Akhtar, who is producing the film under his banner Excel Entertainment. The romantic-action thriller stars Siddhant Chaturvedi and Malavika Mohanan, and is directed by Ravi Udyawar. Akshat is also writing dialogues for a horror show and a spy thriller.