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Comedy a ‘second class citizen’ among genres: Raaj Shaandilyaa

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Mumbai, Aug 29 : Raaj Shaandilya, who is making his directorial debut with the film "Dream Girl", featuring Ayushmann Khurrana, says that critics and intellectuals have never treated comedy films with deserving respect.

"I think in the entertainment business, the comedy genre has always been treated as a second-class citizen. Show me how many comedy films have got a National Award? When it comes to writing, comedy is tough to write and it is actually a serious business, but we are never given due credit. People tend to think that anyone can do comedy. What they forget is that using sense of humour in a useful way to entertain people is very tough," Raaj told IANS.

Giving an example of the icon Charlie Chaplin, he added: "He is the guru of comedy but look at the kind of appreciation he has got. After working for 25 years, he became the icon that he is. He got an Oscar award, when people gave him a standing ovation for 12 minutes. You know why? Because he entertained people for years after years and they believed that he deserved the award he won."

The story of "Dream Girl" revolves around a man named Lokesh (played by Ayushmann) who has a talent of speaking and singing in a woman’s voice. The comic drama is about how his voice-changing talent lands Lokesh in trouble, and a comedy of errors ensues.

Raaj said there are actors and filmmakers such as Govinda and David Dhawan who have delivered commercially successful films but have never been given the award and respect they deserve.

"We (comedians and comedy filmmakers) are treated like jokers, and you do not emotionally connect with a joker. You want them in the story of your life, you enjoy the moment and forget about it. It would be great if our work is also looked at as a piece of art and given due respect," he said.

Raaj, who has worked as a scriptwriter for the TV show "Comedy Circus", besides films such as "Welcome Back!", "Freaky Ali", "Bhoomi" and "Jabariya Jodi", also differentiates between comedy and humour.

"You will never say sense of comedy, it is always about sense of humour. Comedy could be slapstick, dark comedy and other subgenres. But all of them come from a sense of humour. Playing it out to convey something is a serious job," he explained.

"Dream Girl" is scheduled to release on September 13.

 

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