‘Never Give Up Has Hit Home’

‘People are saying Maidaan has changed their attitude to their lives.’
‘What more can a film-maker ask for?’

Maidaan Director Amit Sharma says he is deluged by compliments from people from across the society.

“Sir, if I show you the messages, you will be so proud of the film. I am not counting the footfalls. I am looking at the impact Maidaan has made,” Sharma tells Subhash K Jha.

“Just the other day, I got a message from a 60-year-old actor Swaroopa Ghosh, who had graduated from NSD and has been struggling since. She had decided to go back to her hometown, but after seeing Maidaan, she decided to stay back in Mumbai.

“The film’s theme — never give up — has hit home with so many. I don’t feel my film has under-performed. The box office may be saying another story, but I am very happy with the impact.

“I hadn’t received so many messages even when my first film Badhaai Ho had released. People are saying Maidaan has changed their attitude to their lives. What more can a film-maker ask for?”

“Sometime back, we screened the film for specially-abled children. I sneaked in to watch the film with them. Sir, I can’t describe the way they were responding to what they were seeing.

“They were clapping and cheering, and when the matches were bring played on screen, they were literally out of their seats as if they were watching the matches live. During intermission, my team members let out that the film’s director was in the theatre… Usske baad jo hua woh main bataa nahin sakta… I was treated like a star.”

Amit generously gives credit to Maidaan‘s leading man for the film’s success: “The film wouldn’t be what it is without Ajay Devgn. He says Maidaan is his best film and performance. I can’t tell you how proud it makes me feel. If only COVID had not played the villain, Maidaan wouldn’t have gone over-budget.

“Plus, we had a cyclone. The sets and schedule were wiped out. Then those expensive matches with real footballers from all over the world. All this took time, money and effort. But the mehnat and delays were worth it.

“When I see how Maidaan has motivated people, I am convinced I am on the right track. I will only make films that I believe in.”