Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh started his career with the unlikeliest of hits. His debut film Johnny Gaddaar was a noir thriller of sorts, set more in the world of James Headley Chase novels than in Bollywood. In a recent interaction about the thriller genre, Neil criticised Bollywood filmmakers and writers for not focusing on ‘original ideas and content’, instead ‘remaking films’ all the time. Also read: Abhishek Bachchan defends Bollywood remaking South films
In the early years of his career, Neil did a lot of work in the thriller genre with films like sci-fi thriller Aa Dekhen Zara, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Jail, and Sudhir Mishra’s Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. His major commercial success in this period was also a thriller – the 2009 film New York, which also starred John Abraham and Katrina Kaif.
Speaking to Times of India, Neil spoke about Bollywood’s penchant for remakes and said, “There are various sub-genres, like psychological thrillers, political thrillers, horror thrillers and so on. Why aren’t we exploring those? We are still remaking films instead of coming up with original ideas and content. In Bollywood, we have original ideas, but I feel that we prefer to play it safe.”
After doing small, independent films for years, Neil found success in the Tamil film industry with the super hit Kaththi in 2014. His other major hits include Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Saaho.
Neil also spoke about how an actor’s worth is determined solely by commercial success, which is why he tries to strike a balance by doing all kinds of films. “I believe that in showbiz, I have to be a little sensible and strike a balance. The truth is that, not just in our industry, but among the audience as well, the general perception of an actor is based on his commercial success. While I love being a part of a film like Jail, I will also do entertainers like Players and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo,” he said.
Neil was last seen in the 2019 film Bypass Road, which was not a commercial success. The same year, he had also appeared in a supporting role in the Prabhas-starrer Saaho. His upcoming releases include the delayed Ankush Bhatt film Firrkie, which also stars Kay Kay Menon and Jackie Shroff, among others.