Pandemic has redefined storytelling: Manoj Joshi
Actor Manoj Joshi says with the pandemic-enforced new normal, cinema too is redefining itself. “The thought process of writers and view-point of the audience both has changed. In coronakaal, I feel the focus will be more on rustic and real stories. Superstars ruling the roost, this won’t happen anymore!”
Best known for his role of Chanakya in serial ‘…Ashoka’ and a string of films, Joshi is currently shooting for ‘Dehati Disco’ in Lucknow.
“Realistic cinema, that we saw in the 80s and 90s, is back. ‘Aajkal mitti ki kahani banne lagi hai’ and substance-oriented stories are being made. With character-driven cinema being made, actors like us have started getting good roles. From better it has become best for us,” said the ‘Ready’ actor.
Talking about his new project he said, “This film (with Ganesh Acharya) is also a rooted story where we are showing that we have so much in our culture that we don’t need to get carried away with Western influences. In UP alone, we have Bundelkhand, Purvanchal, Western UP or Awadh and there is so much to be told.”
Joshi has been acting for the last 30 years, though his first commercial film was ‘Sarfrosh’ in 1997. “Today nepotism and groupism is a hot topic but it always existed in the film industry and everywhere. But I did not care about it and kept working as ‘kaam se hi kaam milta hai!’ God is kind enough that I am working in all media in three languages.”
Talking about his UP connection, he said, “I have shot a film with Raghuvir Yadav, ‘Kashi In Search of Ganga’ and ‘Ram Ki Janmbhoomi’. My play ‘Chanakya’ has been staged in not just in most major cities of UP but in villages too.
“From achar (pickle) to ‘itr’ or my favourite Chikankari clothes, I always pick something or the other from Lucknow. Though I am a vegetarian yet I relish a lot of delicacies at this place which is a delight for non-vegetarians,” he said.
Joshi was also invited to the chief minister’s office for suggestions related to the upcoming film city in Noida. “I was here with my friend and producer Nitin Desai and gave my input to the government,” he said, expressing a desire to work in a film on Pt Deendayal Upadhyay.