Rajiv Rai’s Mohra released on 1 July 1994 was an instant moneyspinner. Featuring an arresting ensemble cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon its USP was the hit songs Tu cheez badi hai mast mast and Tip tip barsa pani.
Speaking on the film Rajiv surprises by confessing he didn’t have much hope about the success of Mohra when it released. “I never thought the film will do well. Nobody liked the previews or trials. In my mind I was confident and somewhat certain that it was a good product, but you can never be sure about public reactions.”
Rajiv feels Mohra was a victim of pre-release prejudices. “ Before release it was badly misjudged. The critics gave the worst ratings ever which was a letdown to me.But it woke me up to their judgement and I never take them seriously. It never was a film for the Oscars or critics to relish on.”
Mohra, says Rajiv, was one for the masses. “It was purely for the masses whom I adore and for my Dad(eminent producer Gulshan Rai)’s legacy, and dedicated towards my mothers prayers for her son.”
After the savage reviews of Mohra Rajiv Rai lost faith in critics. “From that day, oddly, I stopped believing in critics.But I don’t blame them. It didn’t affect the business. Later everyone conveniently changed their minds and opinions.”
Speaking on the hit songs by Viju Shah Rajiv says, “The songs were an integral part of the film, and contributed to the immense success and the film becoming a timeless blockbuster; and I’m forever eternally grateful to Viju Shah and Anand Bakshi for their relentless dedication, and for delivering the evergreen music.”
Rajiv gets emotional recalling the experience of making Mohra. “I’m grateful to each and every actor and technician who contributed to this project. It’s never a one-man show ; we all know that. The cast, specifically Suniel Shetty, worked very hard. Naseer was always and will be my favourite and Akshay’s charm continues to dazzle till today. I’m glad Raveena agreed to do Tip Tip song and trust me , she put her heart and soul into this film. Every actor was fantastic. We’ll celebrate 30 years, hopefully with my new film ZORA, due to release next year! Fingers Crossed!”