Saturday January 18, 2020

Actor Anupam Kher Says That Cinema And Politics Cannot Be Separated

"The Accidental Prime Minister" is slated to release on January 11

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National Award winning actor Anupam Kher, who essays the character of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in “The Accidental Prime Minister”, says cinema and politics cannot be separated since one reflects the other.

The film, even before its release, has grabbed a lot of eyeballs and faced criticism for the projection of its central character and for being timed to hit the screens before the 2019 general elections.

Anupam told IANS: “Look, when the audience is going to the theatre to watch a film, they are regular cine-goers and movie lovers. They are not entering the hall as a voter.

“But yes, when they come out, the film might linger in their mind. But then, cinema and politics cannot be separated, because they are a reflection of each other.”

The actor further said: “A filmmaker or an artiste really cannot figure out why people are voting for a political party. Some voters are loyalists; some are making a list of good and bad to choose a party and the government. How much can a film could contribute to that?

“Having said that, I personally believe that when people go to vote for choosing a government, they do not decide anything based on the impact of a film.”

The movie is based on an eponymous book which was released during the 2014 elections when the political transformation happened and the nation voted the Bharatiya Janata Party government over the Congress-led UPA government.

Does the film intend to influence the voters to form an opinion on the Congress party by showing Singh in a critical light?

“It is ridiculous to say that people choose a political party and a change happened in the government because of Sanjay Baru’s book! Similarly, it would be silly to say that this film will change the result of the election this year,” replied the 63-year-old actor.

Anupam Kher
Cinema, politics can’t be separated: Anupam Kher, flickr

Directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film also features Akshaye Khanna, Aahana Kumra and Arjun Mathur.

The book gives an insight of the Prime Minister Office (PMO) as well as the personal journey of Singh. And the film’s trailer gives a glimpse how the narrative will emphasise on the contradiction and difference of opinion between the PM and the Congress Party, especially its then president Sonia Gandhi.

In fact, such elements in the book also received some criticism in 2014.

Asked if highlighting on the conflict between the former PM and Congress party president is the core content of the film, Anupam said: “No, no, the story is a very humane tale of a man, who was born into a middle-class family and with his merit, he excelled and became a Prime Minister.

“He is a man with all heart, a true patriot, well read, humble man who went through a huge struggle and felt vulnerable as a Prime Minister of the country.”

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Commenting on the party president and PM conflict, the actor added: “It was never a secret. It was rather an open secret that has come out. It was there in the book as well!

“Everyone knew that he was chosen to become a Prime Minister by the Congress party and he was the least expected candidate. Our film is shown from the point of view of a media advisor in the PMO.

“It would be appreciated if audiences watch the film, as a story.”

“The Accidental Prime Minister” is slated to release on January 11. (IANS)

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Cinema Has the Power to Bring Social Change: Vikrant Massey

Cinema is instrumental in shaping society, says bollywood actor Vikrant Massey

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Vikrant Massey
Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories. Wikimedia Commons

With four films in the pipeline, and his latest film “Chhapaak” having released on Friday, actor Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories because cinema has the power to bring social change.

Although no film glorifies crime — particularly crime against women — we have seen a rise in such misdemeanours lately. The question arises if cinema impacts the minds of the audience, why has it failed to change the mindset of the youth who commit such crime?

“Cinema has always been instrumental in shaping society, not just in India but all over the world. Even in the West, cinema played a huge part in ushering revolution and initiating conversations among people. When I say revolution, I am not saying that after watching films people will take to the streets and start chanting slogans. The very idea of taking up a topic can lead to a revolution, and cinema has the power to do so,” Vikrant told IANS.

Vikrant Massey
“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” says Vikrant Massey. Wikimedia Commons

“Having said that, I know that the crime rate is high and I do not have a solution as an actor. I do think people these days are ridden with angst. For example, when I drive I just see a certain rage on the roads — people honk even if they see the signal. People don’t think twice before using abusive word,” added the actor.

Vikrant’s latest film is based on the life of acid attack victim, Laxmi Agarwal. The film highlights acid violence.

“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” he pointed out.

Starting his career on TV with the show “Kahaan Hoon Main” in 2004, Vikrant worked on the small screen until 2014 in “Ajab Gajab Ghar Jamai”. He then shifted gear to Bollywood.

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“I left television consciously after 10 years because I wanted to give myself a chance to step into the world of cinema. I want every role of mine in films to be different. I have given myself 10 years in cinema to achieve more than what I did in TV. It has been six years in Bollywood and I have four more years to go,” shared Vikrant.

Vikrant’s new crop of films include “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi”, “Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare”, “Cargo”, “Ginny Weds Sunny” and “Haseen Dilruba”. (IANS)