He'll soon be seen in a rib-tickling comedy with Mallika Sherawat and then he plans to start his next directorial venture based on Mohsin Hamid's Mothe Smoke. Here's Rahul Bose in a coversation with Roshmilla Bhattacharya.
Isn't Shaurya the Indianised version of A Few Good Men?
At the launch of the film's website, I was repeatedly asked this question. So I made it a point to see A Few Good Men and I noted some similarities. They're the kind of parallels you'd find in two films belonging to the same genre. For instance, you have these evil horsemen in the Harry Potter movies, which suck the life out of everyone. They're there in Lord of the Rings too.
Similarly, in movies on extra-terrestrials, you always see people looking up at the sky, a ray of light falling across their faces and a strong gust of wind announcing the arrival of the aliens. They're the kind of similarities you find in films of the same genre.
But isn't your character modelled on Tom Cruise's?
Tom Cruise was a hot shot lawyer, I'm not. Minissha Lamba who plays a journalist is not modelled on Demi Moore either. But yes, may be Kay Kay's character is a lot like Jack Nicholson's.
Shaurya is an art quasi-courtroom drama. It's about two buddies whose friendship is put to test by the court martial. You don't have that angle in A Few Good Men, do you? Even the issues raised are different. It asks some searing questions in the Rang De Basanti manner, may be stronger.
<b1>It's being said that you've shadow directed the film?
Nonsense! I sit in on the script, offer suggestions, am very involved with my characterisation but when we're actually shooting I've never told any of my directors how to take a shot. After an indifferent first film (Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye) Samar (Khan) wanted to make a film he'd be proud of. Shaurya comes from the centre of his soul.
Apparently, Shah Rukh Khan has recited a piece of poetry. Is that a crowd-pulling gimmick?
Shah Rukh is 10 times more famous than all of us put together. Samar wanted him to recite some lines and he's done a wonderful job. It'll be used in the promos but not in the movie, so I don't know if it's a crowd-pulling gimmick. But if it is, I don't mind.
What's happening with Aparna Sen's
The film is reportedly complete but is not finding any takers. It's nearing completion. I'll start dubbing for it soon. It's the most beautiful film I've been a part of. But today it's not enough to make good cinema, you need great marketing too. The worth of a film today is determined by the amount of publicity behind it.
How was the shoot in the
Japanese Wifeshot in Sunderbans?
It was the toughest shoot of my life. The weather was terrible. The arrangements primitive because there was nothing better. I had to concentrate twice as hard because I couldn't let the arrangements interfere with my performance.
What did you think of
Anuraran'sdubbed Hindi version?
It was a very Bengali, slightly melodramatic film. Some of the charm of the original was lost. Some films are lost in translation.
Have you dubbed for
Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam?
Oh yes. It's
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
meets an over-the-top black comedy. I'll be able to gauge the pitch once Sanjay (Chel) edits it but with talents like Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay, Zakir Hussain and Pawan Malhotra we can't go wrong. Mallika (Sherawat) is very easy on comedy too.
How do you look back on acting with her in Pyaar ke Side/Effects?
Every actor should ensure a terrific working relationship with his co-star, so the scenes are convincing.. even if you have to fake it. (Smiles) With Mallika I didn't have to fake it.
What's happening with the
Pyaar ke Side Effectssequel?
It'll be made but without me. I'm not free in 2009. I'll be busy with my second feature film which is an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's
. Right now the contracts are being drawn up. In March we'll be hiring a top-line crew. From April to September I'll be busy with pre-production. We'll shoot it in three months from October to December.
There was also a film with Shivam,
Ghost Ghost Na Raha.
It's one of the finest scripts I've read. It's a romantic comedy and Shivam who is extremely exacting is having problems casting the leading lady. I'm happy to wait.
What next? A period epic?
If the script is interesting I wouldn't mind even playing a cave man. Come to think of it, I'd make a great pre-historic monster.