Rahul Bose turns director after 16 years, and producer for the first time. This weekend, at a masterclass in the city, you can quiz him on his experiences.
Actor Rahul Bose (49) admits to being a ‘townie’ who doesn’t travel to the other side of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link often. But in the last two months, he’s been spending half his days at his office in Khar (W). Poorna, his second directorial — after a hiatus of 16 years (since Everybody Says I’m Fine; 2001) — will release in March.
We meet him in his office. Beanbags make up for the lack of chairs. The floor is covered with bamboo mats. We can’t help but compare his recent acting stints to the décor: minimal, yet not run-of-the-mill. His last role was a supporting one in Dil Dhadakne Do (2015). Bose acknowledges that lead roles have begun to dry up. “It’s my age. Films in the space of Pyaar ke Side Effects are being offered to younger actors. I mostly receive offers in art-house movies,” he says.
Turning to direction — his first love — is not impulsive. Poorna, he says, is a “marriage of my three passions — direction, sports, social activism”. The film follows the journey of Malvath Poorna, a tribal girl from Telangana, who climbed Mount Everest at age 13. When the writers came to Bose in 2015, it was yet another social cause for him. “I was trying to raise funds for the film. But somehow I got attached to the story, and decided to direct it,” says Bose.
This weekend, Bose will conduct a masterclass at Junoon’s Mumbai Local series. This isn’t the first time that he will deliver a talk. He has spoken on cinema at Yale, on secularism at the Oxford, and on gender equality at Harvard. “Most of my lectures have been either at academic institutions or corporate set-ups. I have never done a masterclass like this earlier,” says Bose.
With credits like those, you may assume that Bose has an interest in teaching, but he smiles and rubbishes the idea of becoming a professor. “I don’t have it in me,” he says. “Direction though has always been part of the plan. It’s way more rewarding than acting. I see myself doing more of this now.”
Rahul Bose’s talk, The Sacred and The Profane: Cinema Through the Lens of a Director and a Producer (Mumbai Local series), will take place on February 17, 5.30pm
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