Subhash Ghai on 33 years of Ram Lakhan: I made the film without a proper script, yet it became a blockbuster -Exclusive!

Thirty three years later and Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia and Rakhee's Ram Lakhan continues to enjoy cult status. The film's story and treatment has stood the test of time as it has entertained audiences across generations. On this anniversary, director Subhash Ghai looks back at the film and its journey through candid anecdotes and insights. Read on:

'The Ram Lakhan story is timeless'

I am glad that Ram Lakhan is celebrating 33 years of its release. It celebrated a Golden Jubilee and was one of the highest grossers of that time. I am happy that people have watched it many times on the small screen as well. According to me Ram Lakhan is a timeless story. It will always be fresh. It had the strength of a mother played by Rakhi, a brother like Ram and a corrupt man like Lakhan. People like these characters will always be there in society for years to come. A strong, noble mother will never fail.

There are good people in this country and there are bad people, too. There are strong, honest people in the system even today. And there are also people who are pushing things in the wrong direction. And when these two types of people are sons to one mother, who wanted them to be great citizens of this country, that is a timeless equation.

'A remake will do well today'

It will be relevant today and even for the years to come. Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty were supposed to make the remake but they are taking their own time. But I am sure whenever the film will be remade it will be a blockbuster because it has the combination of good drama, story, screenplay and characterization.

'I made the film without a proper script'

Actually, I started making Ram Lakhan in a rush. I had shelved Deva. And after that I had to start this film within a month. I had an idea for Ram Lakhan but I did not have a story. So, I had to write a story and a screenplay and start shooting in one month. I had worked with Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff in Meri Jung and Hero respectively. I told them that I want to start a film next month and they agreed. I had signed Madhuri for three films. First was Uttar Dakshin and second was Ram Lakhan. So, Madhuri was already there. She was a Mukta artiste so I was pushing her.

But the problem arose when my three regular distributors left me because Anil and Jackie's latest films had flopped. So, Mumbai, overseas, Delhi, UP, and West Bengal, these distributors quit the film. I had to sell the film after making it. But I was determined to make this film. I had to improvise during the shooting. Today, everyone wants a bound script. I made Ram Lakhan without a proper script and it became such a blockbuster.

If you saw my scripts before starting the film and the copy submitted to the censor board, they were two different things. So, there was a long process from the written word of the script to the final making of the film. Like in 36 Farmhouse it started with an idea and here there are two rich brothers killing each other for grabbing a farm house.

Ram Lakhan is a timeless tale like Ramayana and Mahabharata.

'Lakhan was an entertainer, but Ram symbolized a strong man'

I have heard rumours that today's actors prefer to play Lakhan over Ram. I don't understand how they think. Ram is an equally strong character. Lakhan was an entertainer, fine. But Jackie Shroff got huge respect for playing Ram. Every mother wanted a child like Ram. Ram symbolizes a strong and good man. And it will always stay like that. Today's actors wonder why I should share the screen space. Aisa nahin hota hai. All big actors have shared screen space in the past. The actors should believe in the directors. Today's generation of actors is advised more by the marketing department than the academic department.

Date: 28th January, 2022