We make slick films but they’re worse than average ’50s film: Rajat Kapoor | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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We make slick films but they’re worse than average ’50s film: Rajat Kapoor

Actor Rajat Kapoor talks about his new Macbeth-inspired play, his penchant for directing and long-time friendship with actors Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey, whom he is directing in his new project.

bollywood Updated: Jan 30, 2017 19:14 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Actor Rajat Kapoor says he loves every aspect of filmmaking except looking for money.
Actor Rajat Kapoor says he loves every aspect of filmmaking except looking for money.(Vidya Subramanian/HT Photo )

There is no part of filmmaking that actor Rajat Kapoor doesn’t enjoy except for one — looking for money.

“That is the most tedious part and takes the longest. It is the time between films, that is the most tiring and trying. I get by those times, by writing even more scripts. I have a huge collection of scripts; if I get the money, I could easily make 10 films in the next 10 years,” says the actor known for films such as Bheja Fry(2007) and the more recent, Kapoor And Sons (2016).

Although he’s a seasoned actor, Kapoor’s true love is directing, and he is coming back with a play called What’s Done Is Done with Advait Media Productions, to be staged in the Capital. His play borrows from one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating texts, Macbeth where greed, ambition and lust for power are dealt with in an ingenious manner.

Actors Vinay Pathak and Jim Sarbh are set to perform in the Capital as part of the English play What’s Done Is Done.

Having directed his first play Firebugs in the year 1984, Rajat says, “I have always had a penchant for directing. In the last 30 years, my work in theatre has been essentially as a director. The first play I directed was way back in 1984, more than 30 years ago with a Delhi-based theatre group called Chingari. The play was called ‘firebugs’, by a Swiss playwright, Max Frisch.”

With having directed four plays that are inspired by the bard, it comes as no surprise that Kapoor is smitten by Shakespeare. “My current favourite play is Macbeth, though it might change after a couple of years. We thought of doing Macbeth with clowns but very different from my other clown Shakespeare adaptations. We wanted to make them scary clowns. I think the play lends itself very well to that.”

So how was the experience of directing a huge cast of Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Jim Sarbh and Tillotama Shome? “Unlike our other Shakespeare/clown productions, this one has a large cast. Visually, it is very different from the other plays. It’s always fun to have more actors on stage. The images are different, more dynamic. I was lucky to find actors who are wonderfully generous and giving, and never stopped trying — even when the director would be of no help to them.”

As it has been seen before, it’s fireworks when the trio of Kapoor, Pathak and Shorey shares screen space. “Both, besides being very dear friends, are gifted theatre and film actors. It is my good fortune that they are my friends and my collaborators. And whatever stupid ideas I might have in my head, they are always game for them. Apart from films, Ranvir and I have worked on C for Clown and the Blue Mug. This is our third collaboration. Vinay and I have done everything in the last 17 years together.”

Actor Vinay Pathak and director Rajat Kapoor. (Aalok Soni/HT Photo)

Ask him about the transition cinema has undergone over the years, and he answers through a French proverb, ‘plus ce change, plus c’est la meme chose’ (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

“Nothing has really changed. Maybe films have become more slick, maybe. But they are still quite bad if you compare them to an average film from the fifties.Overall, I think we still make pretty bad cinema but we demand very little from ourselves, and are pleased with very little, and the media also supports mediocrity. So, a vicious cycle of mediocrity, that makes money anyway. And since that is considered the prime purpose of our film industry, all is good, I suppose.”

Catch it Live

What: Play What’s Done Is Done

When: November 6

Timings: 5pm and 7.30pm

Where: JLN on Violet Line