Rajat Kapoor- Turning The Tide
Posted by Vivek on December 13, 2009 | No Comments
The Universe is made up of three kinds of humans, a) those that go with the tide representing most of us, b) those that try and face up to the tide, a lot of them get washed away with the flow and then c) there are those who stand up against it and by sheer dint of their staying and persevering power, turn the tide towards them. Director/actor/producer Rajat Kapoor is that minority who belongs to the third category, the tide of traditional Bollywood and the newer audiences are turning towards him, and have been for the last few years. He is the ultimate against the flow individual in Bollywood today and now the flow is going his way and more power to him. This FTII graduate, represents the true spirit of independent filmmaking in India today. His time is here and now. We catch up with Rajat as his talks about his upcoming film, Raat Gaye Baat Gaye.
A little about what Raat Gaye Baat Gaye is all about?
You will get the synopsis on the net (www.raatgayibaatgayi.com) of course so I am not going into that- what it essentially is about, is marriage! I think- a relationship over the years- there may be good days or bad days (like the one in the film), but the key to sustaining a relationship is to go beyond those days… in a way it is a continuation of Mixed Doubles (I wanted to give it a subtitle of A-MORAL TALE, like we had in Mixed Doubles).
What kind of films does your production company strive to make and get to the audience?
My endeavor is to make the kind of films that I believe in. This is what I would largely call independent films. For me, independent means it is free of market forces, of the passing fads of the day, independent in spirit- whatever the genre.
With global recession on us, do you think Mumbai is finally waking up to the lower cost/high concept hence easier return on investment as opposed to the big budget and high risk, model?
This happened about two and a half years back- before the recession actually. This is a model that some of us have been crying hoarse for years. Finally I think the producers took notice of it in 2005-06, when some of these low budget films went on to make big bucks. Then they realized that this could be a profitable model.
Recession actually worked against this- as people started looking back at the superstar formula films. But that again, is a phase. Independent cinema is here to stay for good.
You seem to work with a core team, Saurabh Shukla, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, any particular reason for that?
Well, there is a definite comfort level. But then you don’t really cast an actor in a role just because he is your friend, you can not risk a film like that. Luckily for us, Ranvir and Vinay are such versatile actors that they manage to fit in a variety of roles.
On your upcoming projects as a director, producer and actor?
As an actor there is Ramu’s RANN, Saurabh Shukla’s I AM 24, Sharat Katariya’s brilliant adaptation of a Mid Summer Night’s dream, called for the time being MOCKTALE or JOSH-E-JAWANI, Aparna Sen’s ITI MRINALINI- and a few others.
As a director I have just finished my film called either A RECTANGULAR LOVE STORY or FATSO for the time being. Both titles may change. It has Ranvir, Gul Panag, Purab Kohli, Neil Bhoopalam and Gunjan Bakshi.
Overall sense of how the environment in the Indian film industry has changed for someone such as yourself, who has more than paid his dues, gone against the flow and now the flow is going your way and well deserved on that ?
I am grateful for the change. Things are very different now than they were in 2004 when Raghu Romeo was released.
Also, what has happened now, is that with the coming of multiplexes, all films at least have the possibility of a release. This is what we always wanted- a foot in the door. Once you have a release, it is fair play- if the audiences like it, there is every chance that the word of mouth could make something of your independent project…
It has not only helped me- but I feel today it is much easier for a first time filmmaker to make a film and get it to an audience. And I thank God for that…