Need Javed Akhtar back as screenwriter: Mani Ratnam

At a time when movies have become all about box office collections, the Indian cinema needs Javed Akhtar back as a screenwriter, filmmaker Mani Ratnam has said. Ratnam’s remarks come days after ‘Animal’ makers on X slammed Akhtar for criticizing the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer.

Akhtar is a rock-solid man who has set the writing in the Indian film industry to a “structured high standard”, Ratnam, 67, said. “Sir, I have a request, I think we need you (Akhtar) back writing a screenplay. It will help us a lot, especially in these times when we just talk about numbers. I think we need Javed Sahab,” he said at the CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2023 event.

Akhtar, 79, who presented the Indian Of The Year Award (Entertainment) to Ratnam, said the film industry in Mumbai was “complacent” and “convinced of our superiority” till Ratnam arrived.

“Suddenly, a director came from Tamil Nadu and slapped us hard on our face with the kind of work we had never seen. It was unprecedented. We were sure of our superiority and he made us feel like illiterate children,” he added.

Akhtar, who along with former writing partner Salim Khan, is known for penning films such as ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Deewar’, and ‘Mr India’, recently said that the commercial success of films with problematic scenes was a “dangerous” trend.

Image courtesy of X@CelTalks

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