Shekhar Kapur: Nice when a film competes theatrically and does well
At a time when moviegoers only go to the cinema to get that larger-than-life experience of action-packed and VFX-heavy films, Shekhar Kapur’s What’s Love Got To Do With It? comes as a relief. The Shabana Azmi and Emma Thompson-starrer, with a screenplay by Jemima Khan, was released in February in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. The cross-cultural romantic comedy set to be released in India in March has been critically acclaimed at international film festivals.
The answer came as no surprise to Kapur and Azmi, despite the release of a major Hollywood wig – Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. After missing the London premiere, Azmi attended the Toronto Film Festival. “We got two standing ovations [at TTF]. At the Jeddah Film Festival, we got good reviews from the press,” says the actor, adding that the film did well in the UK. “It’s a beautiful film about identities [made] with a lot of heart. I keep my fingers crossed that people in India like it too.” Kapur, who returns to direct 16 years after his film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, says: “As a filmmaker you have to assume that your passion and emotions are also shared by the audience when you are working creatively, intensely and passionately. . My films have always been appreciated at the film festivals and theater audiences – be it Masoom, Mr India, Elizabeth, Four Feather or What’s Love Got To Do With It?” He feels that some love has to do with it? has something that attracting audiences and competing with the big Hollywood movies.
What Does Love Have To Do With It? is a cross-cultural romantic comedy
Azmi claims that in addition to being tempted to work with Kapur and Thompson, she liked the script, which convinced her to come on board. “It is smart, funny and looks lovingly at the Asian community. It shows two cultures so different from each other, with no judgment, just observations that make sense. Emma loved the movie both times and said, “I’m very proud to be a part of it.” It was too good an offer to resist.”
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Kapur says that the March release must first be censored in India. “We hope it happens next month, and then we can have a summer release. “While OTT platforms have some good stuff, it’s nice when a movie like What’s Love Got To Do With It? competes theatrically and does well,” he shares, adding that when people talk about What’s Love Got To Do With It? 30 years later, he would consider it a success.