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"Comedy films are cheap and nonsensical today": Pankaj Kapoor

Published: Thursday, June 7, 2007, 10:56 [IST]

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beginning his career with the film 'Gandhi' in 1973, Pankaj Kapoor has been associated with theatre, a passion that continues till today. Critically acclaimed for his performances in films like 'Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho' and 'Ek Doctor Ki Maut', this versatile actor has also made his mark in the television industry. Pankaj will now be seen in Bhavna Talwar's directorial debut film 'Dharm'. Here is an excerpt of a tete-a-tete that we had with him recently.

Q: Tell us something about your character in the upcoming movie 'Dharm'?
A: In this movie I play pundit Chaturvedi who has been leading his life rather religiously as written in the Vedas. He has a lot of faith in spirituality and he believes that whatever is written in the holy books will take him to salvation. He lives with his wife and son in the sacred city if Banaras. It is a story which revolves around religion and spirituality.

Q: Do you happen to be spiritual in your real life too?
A: Such things are something very personal to a person. One cannot talk about it. One can only feel such things.

Q: What led you to work with a new director like Bhavna Talwar?
A: Firstly, this film has a sensitive subject. The way in which spirituality and family have been blended together is unmatched. These two factors led me to sign a film even with a new director.

Q: Do you think Bhavna has been successful in delivering justice to the concept of the film?
A: Bhavna might be new, but her understanding of directorial requirements is commendable. The way she has dealt with the film in no way shows that it is her debut movie.

Q: Tell us about you next film with Vishal Bharadwaj 'The Blue Umbrella'.
A: I play a shopkeeper by the name on Nandkishor in this film. It is the story of a village in Himachal Pradesh. Now Nandkishor is an extremely greedy man and when he notices a blue umbrella with a small girl named Shreya, he wants it. In his greed he steals the umbrella.

Q: In 'Dharm' and 'The Blue Umbrella' you are working with kids. Is it easy or difficult working with children?
A: It all depends on an individual. If you treat kids like kids they might take offence. You have to treat them like friends and give them the same respect. Once they consider you their friend, it makes it easier for you to work with them. I did the same. I made friends with them from the beginning and thus they co-operated with me.

Q: 'The Blue Umbrella' is your second film with Vishal Bhardwaj. How is he as a director?
A: What can I say about Vishal Bharadwaj. He is not only a good director, but also a good storyteller. His choice of scripts is unique and of a greater standard. His dialogues writing and music sense is also excellent.

Q: Would you like to play your character in 'Maqbool' for the second time?
A: Why do you want me to play the same kind of role again? Do you want be to have a trademark of a villain in Bollywood? I do not like to repeat the character that I have played. I would like to play different and a variety of roles.

Q: Comedy films are in. Have you any comedy films in the pipeline?
A: Whatever comedy films are made today are cheap and nonsensical comedy films. I do not want to work in such films.

Q: What about 'Jane Bhi Do Yaroon'? Would you be interested in doing that kind of films?
A: What not. It would me my privilege if I get to work in those kinds of film again. But no one has the time to deal with such subject today. Those kinds of films were not just a taunt on the draw backs of the society, but also a light hearted comedy which entertained the audience.

Topics: the blue umbrella, karamchand, ek doctor ki maut, maqbool, bhavna talwar, film dharm, pankaj kapur, vishal bhardwaj
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