By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: What Karan Johar can do, his former associate Nikhil Advani can do as well.
After Kal Ho Na Ho and his break with Karan Johar, Nikhil Advani has failed to make significant headway with his subsequent films.
In a significant career-revamp strategy, Nikhil has now invited his best friend Madhu Bhojwani and his sister Monisha Advani, both highly-qualified executives, to join him as producers for his new venture D Day which is a film about a group of RAW agents assigned to bring Dawood back from Pakistan to India for trial.
Advani says the subject was too topical, sensitive and volatile for him to handle alone.
Confesses Advani, “Frankly I needed help. It wasn’t possible to deal with the non-creative aspects of the production business. I asked my best friend Madhu and my sister Monisha to help me out. Luckily for me, they abandoned all other plans to join hands with me.”
Bhojwani and Advani go back a long way, almost two decades back.
Significantly, the move to bring Bhojwani into his production house echoes Karan Johar’s business strategy wherein his best friend Apoorva Mehta serving as the CEO of Johar’s company looks after the business of production.
Says Nikhil Advani, “D Day is a very thorny subject. The subject-matter, treatment and manner in which the characters are presented occupy the hard, edgy gritty and raw space. I didn’t want to take any chances with this one. I just wanted to focus on getting the facts into a right merger with my vision. D Day is not a routine thriller about brave men on a mission. It required a hundred percent application from me. I asked my sister Monisha and my best friend Madhu to help me. If they hadn’t agreed I don’t know what I’d have done.”
The creative and business collaboration occurs at a juncture when Nikhil is dividing his time between Mumbai and Boston where his wife is currently on a fellowship. Nikhil’s daughter is now in Boston with her mother.
Advani needed legal and financial expertise, so he could focus on the creative aspect of D Day.
Says the director’s friend-partner Madhu Bhojwani, “Nikhil ,Monisha and I go back a long way. I knew Nikhil closely from long before he or I embarked on our respective careers. I was part of an entrepreneurial industry long before corporotization happened in our country. Right now the entertainment industry in India is going through an exciting phase of corporotization.There is room for all kinds of films. It’s exciting to enter the movie industry at a time when it and Nikhil are entering a new phase.”