Rishi Kapoor is looking forward to his visit to South Africa in another 10 days. Reason: a weeklong retrospective of his movies is being held in Durban, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg from September 17, a first for the veteran actor who has completed over four decades in the industry.
Interestingly, this retrospective is a part the festival, Shared History – The Indian Experience. Although this is the fourth edition of the art and culture festival, this time it marks the 150-year celebration of the first migration of Indian indentured labour to South Africa. “I’m very honoured and flaterred that they are having a restrospective of my movies,” says an elated Kapoor, adding that he wished he had also been called to participate in the selection of the movies.
Teamwork Productions, which is hosting the retrospective and ‘In Conversations’ with Kapoor, has chosen Bobby (1973), Laila Majnu (1976), Karz (1980), Prem Rog (1982), Chandini (1989) and Luck by Chance (2009) from over a hundred films that Kapoor has appeared in, in his 40-plus year career.
One of the films Kapoor says he would have liked to see at the retrospective is Yeh Vaada Raha (1982). “Unfortunately, it didn’t do too well commercially. We felt it was a bit ahead of its time, as compared to the others that were being made around then. But nonetheless, it’s very close to my heart,” Kapoor asserts.
While Bobby, Laila Majnu and Chandni went on to become blockbuster hits, the actor reveals they expected Karz to fare better than it did. “Considering the kind of film it is, the buzz it generated before release and the feedback it garnered afterwards, we expected it to fare better. Of course, it feels great that Karz is called a cult classic,” he admits.
The actor concedes the irony that a movie, despite being very good, can sometimes fail to set the box-office ringing. “Today, Mera Naam Joker (1970) is a cult classic. But when it released, it was a flop at the box-office,” he says.
Another film the actor was keen to see included in his retrospective is his forthcoming Do Dooni Chaar. “But it is only releasing on October 8. So it couldn’t be a part of the retrospective,” shrugs the actor, adding that he is also looking forward to the interaction with his fans and the audience in South Africa.