Saturday December 15, 2018

Harshvardhan Kapoor: No Interest In Forming Opinion About Anything

The treatment of the film is very different

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Harshvardhan Kapoor No Interest In Forming Opinion About Anything
Harshvardhan Kapoor No Interest In Forming Opinion About Anything, flickr
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“I am someone who is very comfortable in my own world and I know it is not a good thing. I really do not take much interest in forming an opinion on anything political because I am not inclined to that,” Harshvardhan told IANS.

Having grown up in a family of film stars and producers like father Anil Kapoor, sister Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, uncles like Boney Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor as well as cousins like Arjun Kapoor and Mohit Marwah, Harshvardhan has seen success and failure of the entertainment business from close quarters.

Is that the reason why the end result of the film does not bother him much and he is rather focussed on the process of filmmaking?

Harshvardhan said: “No, that is not true… I do get hurt. When my debut film did not work for most of the people, I was upset but do we really know how to control the fate of a film?

Jacqueline Fernandez and Harshvardhan Kapoor
Jacqueline Fernandez and Harshvardhan Kapoor. flickr

“All we can do is put on hard work. In a year, only 10 films get huge success at the box office out of so many films releasing in India. And what is the definition of success?

“From childhood I have seen, there are films that are counted as most successful film and in two weeks, those films went off the people’s memories. On the other hand, there are films that didn’t work commercially, but people cherish them even today. So what really a successful film is?” questioned the young actor.

As for his “Bhavesh Joshi Superhero” — directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, he believes it has a quality of being relatable to the mass audience.

“The treatment of the film is very different. It is modern and cinematically rich. The inspiration of the core character may be drawn from the angry young man era of our Hindi cinema, but the feet are very much in today’s time.

“It is a realistic film and not a larger than life superhero film. I think the content of the film is quite accessible to the larger audience unlike my ‘Mirzya’,” Harshvardhan said.

The actor believes that the definition of the superhero is changing in Indian cinema where the story of common man is getting celebrated.

“It is the story of a young guy who was leading a regular life with a lot of complaint about the system that we all do, but we really do not do much about it.

“Then he finds himself in extraordinary circumstances and decided to make a choice… a very brave choice that a regular guy will not attempt to do. I think that’s what makes him a superhero.”

Mirziya, Harshvardhan Kapoor & Saiyami Kher
Mirziya, Harshvardhan Kapoor & Saiyami Kher. Flickr

For the film, Harshvardhan went by the script and the director’s vision.

Also, being a formally trained actor, Harshvardhan’s process of immersing himself in a character is a combination of method acting and personal life experiences.

“To bring a certain emotion in a scene, I do not look out for others’ examples, but my own life experiences. Of course, I cannot live life like that character in the film, but in my personal life, I must have experienced something similar.

“Another important thing we have to keep in mind is, in film shooting, we do not shoot the story as sequentially as the audience watch on screen. We might shoot the climax at the beginning of filming.

Also read: I’m so proud to call you my daughter Anil to Rhea

“So when I am performing a scene, I try to understand what the story wants to achieve through the scene. I also use my sense memory.” (IANS)

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Journalists Around The World Faced Intimidation and Prison in 2018: Report

Tuesday, Time magazine selected journalists who have been targeted for doing their work, the “guardians” of truth, as their Person of the Year.

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Khashoggi, U.S., Jail
A man holds a poster showing images of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (L), dubbed "assassin," and of journalist writer Jamal Khashoggi, dubbed "martyr," during a prayer service for Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Turkey. VOA

A multipronged crackdown on the press continued throughout 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists concludes in a report published Thursday.

Imprisonment, intimidation and allegations that journalists produce “fake news” surged in 2016, when U.S. President Donald Trump won the election, CPJ found.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the press, often chastising journalists as “very dishonest people.”

The number of journalists in jail dipped 8 percent, from 272 in 2017 to 251 this year. But that doesn’t mean the situation has improved, Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, told VOA.

The numbers fluctuate and may not reflect every imprisoned journalist. They also remain markedly higher than just a half decade ago.

ethiopian PM, Jail
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a media conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Oct. 29, 2018. VOA+

More importantly, targeting a single journalist can have far-reaching repercussions.

“The effects are not only, obviously, [on] the journalists themselves and their families and their colleagues, but we really are talking about the effect on citizens as a whole,” Quintal said.

CPJ’s report highlighted several bright spots.

In Ethiopia, which has experienced dramatic reforms under new leader Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, no journalists are currently known to be imprisoned, for the first time in 14 years.

Improvements in some countries, however, don’t necessarily rub off on others.

“Unfortunately, neighboring Eritrea remains the highest jailer of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, with 16 journalists in jail as we speak,” Quintal said.

Worldwide, report author Elana Beiser, CPJ’s editorial director, singled out China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as troublespots, highlighting how wide-ranging efforts to silence journalists have become.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Quintal’s region of focus, Cameroon, where seven journalists are in jail, is a new country of concern. At least four of those journalists faced false news charges in what Quintal called “a huge, huge setback.”

Times, Jail
Jamal Khashoggi on the cover of Times as the ‘Person of they Year”

Overall, more than two dozen journalists have been charged with publishing false news, mainly in Africa.

Accusations and imprisonments can propel self-censorship, with profound effects on citizens’ right to information.

“When you see your colleagues being put in jail, when you see them accused of so-called fake news, when they’re being arrested on false news charges,” Quintal said, “it does, obviously, have a chilling effect.”

Quintal herself was targeted, along with colleague Muthoki Mumo, in Tanzania last month.

Despite having an invitation letter from the Media Council of Tanzania, the two, both former journalists, were detained and interrogated.

Quintal, from South Africa, and Mumo, from Kenya, were kept in custody for five hours.

“We were lucky because we were able to leave Tanzania,” Quintal said, contrasting her experience to journalists in the country who have gone missing or continue to face intimidation.

jamal Khashoggi, trump, jail
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. VOA

“The abusive nature of what happened to us showed the world the true nature of what is going on in Tanzania at the moment,” she added.

Quintal and Mumo’s case was unusual. Governments tend to target their own citizens, and journalists imprisoned by their governments make up 98 percent of cases, CPJ concluded. They also found that 13 percent of journalists in jail are women, an 8 percent increase from 2017.

Despite worrying signs, there is room for optimism, Quintal said.

When new leaders come to power, she said, human rights and press freedoms can improve very quickly.

Also Read: Facebook Rolls Out New Tool that Lets Journalists Examine Political Ads

Quintal pointed to The Gambia as one example, where the new president, Adama Barrow, has created space for journalists to work without fear of reprisal.

Tuesday, Time magazine selected journalists who have been targeted for doing their work, the “guardians” of truth, as their Person of the Year. (VOA)