“I don’t want to be an escapist…”: Rohit Shetty opens up on ‘Cirkus’ debacle


Rohit Shetty, known for blockbuster hits like the ‘Golmaal’ franchise and ‘Singham,’ discussed the box office failure of ‘Cirkus’ in an exclusive interview with News Agency.

While acknowledging the film’s simplicity and box office disappointment, Rohit revealed the circumstances that led to its production during the pandemic. He emphasized the importance of not taking success for granted and admitted to acknowledging mistakes when faced with an unfavorable audience response. Despite the setback, Rohit expressed gratitude for the audience’s love and revealed his team’s approach of moving forward to the next project without dwelling on failures. ‘Cirkus’ was released on December 23, 2022, starring Ranveer Singh, Pooja Hegde, and others​​.

Excerpts from Interview

“It was quite a simple film, made during the pandemic when things were changing. If I were to make a film on that subject today, I wouldn’t touch it. ‘Sooryavanshi’ was yet to be released, the Indian Police Force series was also about to start and we had an eight-month gap. Workers were sitting at home and we had this script for the longest time–a simple, small film,” the filmmaker recalled.

While owning up to the box-office failure of ‘Cirkus,’ Rohit shared what prompted him to make the film.
“Let’s make it, workers will stay busy and we will stay busy too. It was a studio-based film–no car flying, no action, no heroic entry at all. Many people told me to release ‘Sooryavanshi’ on OTT, and I was like the film has to be released in theatres even if I make losses. The making of ‘Cirkus’ started with jamming on Zoom, wrote a few scripts, and after five months, we realized that all my team was sitting at home (due to the pandemic),” Rohit said.

“‘Cirkus’ was the first film we shot during the pandemic. We shot it in Mehboob Studio and spent a lot on sanitization-every week blood test, every week COVID test- We spent a lot. People with antibodies were at the forefront, and people without antibodies were outside the set. ‘Cirkus’ was very difficult and then after getting permission we went to Ooty also for an outdoor shoot, we took a fewer dancers too. We were waiting for ‘Sooryavanshi’ to be released, but then to keep workers busy and their house running, we made ‘Cirkus’,” the filmaker said.

While stressing the importance of not taking “success and the audience for granted”, the helmer of ‘Dilwale’ and several other hits also opened up about how he deals with rejections or an unfavourable audience response.

“It (‘Cirkus’) was quite a simple film, but the audience has given me so much love. They still give me that much love. If they felt there was something wrong, then there must be something wrong. There is no denying the fact.

“The narrative of the screenplay must have not worked. I don’t want to be an escapist, I acknowledge that mistakes were made that is the fact of live,” Rohit said.

“Culturally, my whole team and I, even if the film is a blockbuster we are working from the 3rd day. We don’t take hits that seriously. There is not much discussion about it. My entire team and I start working on our next film,” the filmaker said.

‘Cirkus’ hit theatres on December 23, 2022, also starring Pooja Hegde, Jacqueline Fernandez, Varun Sharma, Johnny Lever, Sanjay Mishra, Ashwini Kalsekar, Mukesh Tiwari and Siddharth Jadhav, among several others.

Set in the 1960s, ‘Cirkus’ features Ranveer in a dual role of twins unaware of each other’s existence.
Varun Sharma also had a double role in this family entertainer.

‘Cirkus’ marked Ranveer and Rohit’s third collaboration after ‘Simmba’ (2018) and his cameo appearance in Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Sooryavanshi’.

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