Actor-turned-filmmaker Amol Palekar recently made headlines when he took potshots at actor Aamir Khan, claiming that he generated hype for films that wouldn’t otherwise generate excitement.
Palekar, whose directorial venture And Once Again clashes with Aamir’s production Peepli Live, rues, “Marketing gimmicks are a must these days. That is why a filmmaker like me gets marginalised. I am incapable of promoting my films in such ways. It affects the reachability and viewership which, in turn, affects the revenue.”Ask him about the clash with Aamir and he says, "The producers of my film chose to release the film on August 13. Where is the issue of ‘AP versus AK’? As a producer, Aamir backs his product till its logical end. I wish I had a producer like him. Non-mainstream and meaningful cinema needs that kind of backing and faith. My films will get a wider audience and reach that way."
The filmmaker, who hasn’t been seen on the big screen for 25 years, attributes the reason for his absence to “not wanting to play the hero’s father”. “As an exception, I acted last year in my film called Samaantar. I don’t act
anymore because the roles offered to me are neither exciting nor challenging. I am not interested in doing routine father’s roles.”
Palekar, who directed stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji in his last film Paheli, has opted for lesser known names such as Rajat Kapoor and Antara Mali in And Once Again, an English film that deals with subjects such as rebirth.
He reasons, “Artistes can only be good or bad. There is no category as Grade A artistes. Plus, I don’t need a star, I need an actor.” As for Mali, who’s gone bald for the film, he says, “She understood the need to portray a female monk authentically. Although she felt sad to shave off her hair, she looks gorgeous.”