Bollywood's lovable comic actor Paresh Rawal, who in a way gave a whole new meaning to comedies, now admits that he was actually ashamed of some of the recent films he did.
Excerpts from an interview:
Tell me honestly, are you getting bored of the comedies?
See I'm not bored with comedy. But I'm definitely bored with some of the comedies that I have to do. Some of my recent comedies made me die of shame. I realise I've a responsibility towards the audience. There have been times when I've been tempted to put my foot down about the material given on the sets. But I didn't want to be accused of high-handedness.
Are comedies being over-baked?
They're serving their purpose. They're made within a budget and they recover their money. Last year I was proud of Cheeni Kum. That was a classy comedy. But the rest of the comedies were an assault on our sensibility. So I can imagine what they did to the audience.
It's very frustrating to see intelligent directors indulging in buffoonery. And the dangerous thing is that such comedies work at the box office. So 10 more directors are encouraged to attempt the same. When you as a thinking actor object to such a crude assault on the sensibilities (of people), the producer throws box office figures at you. So then you've to shut up.
Is it a hopeless situation?
No, the scenario is changing. New directors with new ideas are coming in. Bound scripts are floating around. Films are completed in three months, so we actors get a chance to remain focused on characters. And today's big players know what to support. So you have producers like Karan Johar or, for that matter Saif Ali Khan who knows exactly which director to patronise. Look at what Aamir Khan has done in Taare Zameen Par. To say something so profound so simply - it's a big thing.
I salute Aamir Khan. He is illustrative of the new enthusiasm in our cinema. Audiences already get tired of clichés on television. They need to see something new in cinema.
But when Ashwini Dhir, who made a comedy One Two Three with you, it was inferior to his sitcom Office Office.
Something somewhere is wrong. That's why I'm excited about my forthcoming Maharathi. Here I've gone back to my theatrical roots. I play a very different kind of character. It gave me a chance to go back to my roots.
Are you happy with Priyadarshan's comedies?
His comedies never go over the top. His Malayali roots will always ensure he makes intelligent films. And look at the man's wide spectrum. Priyan makes a Kanjeevaram and Mere Baap Pehle Aap side by side. But there's one film I'm specially looking forward to.
And that is?
It's a film by Dibakar Bannerjee, the guy who made Khosla Ka Ghosla. I was supposed to do Anupam Kher's role in that film. Now I've finally done a film with him called Oy Lucky Lucky Oy. It's a true story about a boy who used to steal cars. This is the film that I enjoyed the most after Ketan Mehta's Sardar Patel.
I play three different unrelated characters and it's a film that can be taken to a Paresh Rawal festival without a second thought. Oy Lucky Lucky Oy is the film that will wash away all the sins of excesses in recent times.