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Reel life Krishna stays spiritual but promises to stay away from politics

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Chakravyuh5

By Nishtha

Nitish Bharadwaj, who played the role of Krishna in the popular television series, ‘Mahabharata’ is back in action. After dabbling in film direction, he is reprising the same character which made him a household name more than two decades ago. Bharadwaj is essaying the role of Krishna in Atul Satya Koushik’s  play Chakravyuh, based on the story of Arjun’s son, Abhimanyu. The play was recently staged at Kamani auditorium in New Delhi.

In a conversation with NewsGram, Nitish Bharadwaj talks about his career, Mahabharata, spirituality, his tenure as a Member of Parliament and why he will never go back to electoral politics. Excerpts from the interview.

Nishtha: You were working as an assistant veterinarian in Mumbai before you joined the film industry. As professions, being a vet and films are poles apart. Why did you decide to pursue acting?

Nitish Bharadwaj: I am trained in the Marathi theatre as an actor and director but I never knew I would take it up as a profession. In 1985, I felt stagnant in the field of veterinary medicine so I decided to pursue my hobby and make it my career. Then I started doing theatre professionally and also performed at Prithvi theatre. I did a couple of films in Hindi and Marathi, then came Mahabharata and everything changed. I was performing a play at Prithvi theatre called ‘Gul-e-Gulzar’, which was an adaptation of ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde. From Prithvi theatre’s office my name was recommended to BR Chopra. They called me for a screen test which I was not keen on. I felt I was young and less experienced to play Krishna. In spite of saying no, the role kept coming back to me. My mother encouraged me to take up this role saying that this one of the best roles and since I have read about it through literature, I shouldn’t be worried. So, I took a plunge.

N: Playing Krishna in Mahabharata, a show which was immensely popular in the country, did you experience any instances where people touched your feet or addressed you as ‘Krishna’? Does it continue even now?

NB: It happened even then, it happens even now. People have the memory of Krishna’s portrayal done by me engraved in their minds and they have accepted it. ‘Aastha’ (devotion) of this country is unmatchable with anywhere in the world. It goes to the extent of blind belief. It is up to the individual to maintain that people’s ‘aastha’ or break it by commercializing it. I have maintained that respect for the people and my fans.

N: You have been touring for the play ‘Chakravyuh’ for a few months now and also reprising the role of ‘Krishna’ nearly after 25 years. So how has been your experience? Is it nostalgic to play the same character that made you a household name?

NB: It is nostalgic because after Mahabharata for BR films, I did Vishnupuran and Ramayana with Smiriti Irani but I always refrained from repeating my performance of Krishna. There was one opportunity where a channel had told Ravi Chopra to create Mahabharata where I would play Krishna again. But I said I do not want to compete with my same performance. But after two decades when Chakravyuh was brought to me, this was a new format of theatre. It is very poetic. It has extensive use of poetry which I had never done before in Marathi or Hindi theatre. I can remember prose and dialogues but had a difficult time in remembering poetry so I took this up as a challenge.

N: Playing a powerful and intense character like ‘Krishna’, did it change your belief systems personally? Were you drawn towards spirituality?

NB: The character impacted me tremendously. I was a very religious man before, now I am a spiritual man. I practice the philosophy of Bhagwad Gita. Many people say that it is a Hindu book but I disagree, it is a book of spirituality. It is a book about art of living. It is a book of managing your life and your afterlife. I believe that by doing right things in this birth, my next birth is going to be easier.

N: You were also a Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from Jamshedpur. How was your experience being  a representative of the people?

NB: In my tenure, I had to fight with wrong beliefs and wrong traditional values within the society. For example, I don’t believe in caste system whereas in Jamshedpur I encountered so many people who strongly believed in it. But it was a satisfying experience doing good things for people. I delivered speeches in the Parliament whether it was on civil aviation, atrocities against women and children, uniform civil code among others. It was a good platform but I was a little disheartened because I would prepare for Bills and debates but then something  used to happen and the Parliament used to adjourned. Then those Bills never came up for debate again. The job of the MPs and MLAs is to talk, debate and legislate policies. The entire preparation would go down the drain, so I used to be a bit disheartened. But overall, I had a satisfying tenure as an MP.

N: You ended your association with the BJP in 2007, what was the reason behind quitting politics?

NB: After my tenure as an MP, I was in Madhya Pradesh looking after the organizational part of BJP. I was also the party spokesperson. I felt that the party had not used me to a level of my full potential. The educational background, the kind of exposure I have had in my life, the hard work and sincerity I had put  in my job, it was not reciprocated by the party. I had given about 13 years to the party and thought that I was wasting my time. So, I quit electoral politics in 2007. But, I am a loyalist by character and I still have a strong belief in the political ideology and philosophy of the BJP.

N: Any word of advice for the struggling actors out there who are still looking for their big break?

NB: Struggle is inevitable for everybody in every field. Eventually, your talent will sail you through. My advice would be to hold on to your art and polish your art before you come to film industry. Because once you enter in the cinema world, the craft is so demanding that if you want to survive you have to be the best. If you don’t deliver you won’t be given another chance. So make your foundation strong.

N: There have been several attempts to remake Mahabharata on television but it failed miserably. What do you think went wrong?

NB: The first reason is the changed scenario of Television, In our time Doordarshan was the only channel for the entire country, so it was a forced viewing. There was a certain amount of newness and freshness to the medium. People from the film industry with high achievements were doing TV so the production value was great. Also, since no special effects were available, the focus was on writing and the content. Now, the content seems to be diluted or compromised with more emphasis on special effects.

The failure is not because of the writers but due to commercialisation. At our time, writers had to create content for a one hour programme every week. Now they have to churn out a 30 minute long programme daily. Creativity is not a factory line product and you can’t expect writers to write fast and give you quality content. In creative arts, quantity and quality do not go hand in hand.  Even for the actors today, television has become a medium for making money, barring a few. For us, there was hardly any money but we were passionate about what we were doing.

N: So what is next for you? Will the audience see you in a commercial Hindi film or would will explore your talent on the stage and behind the camera?

NB: I am shooting for a big budget Hindi movie now but can’t divulge into details. I have already completed another feature film called Yaksh where I am playing the titular character. It is physiological thriller and will be released soon. I have also finished the screenplay for my next film, which hopefully will be in Hindi. I will be also doing more shows of ‘Chakravyuh’.

N: In the future, any chance you would consider going back to politics and contesting elections?

NB: No, that is done. On one hand, I have an opportunity to showcase my art and talent to the people and get their direct responses. On the other hand, in politics, even if I display my talent, there are so-called middlemen who decide my future. I have taken that right from them. They will not decide my political future. When I showcase my art, if I can act well they accept me or else they reject me. It is a direct conversation between the masses and myself, which I prefer.

 

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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The Best Hollywood Action Movies Of 2017

The old fashion of action genre movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office has melted down the lane and thus the action movies are released throughout the year.

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The new Hollywood action movies are getting smarter, are more sophisticated. Wikimedia Commons
The new Hollywood action movies are getting smarter, are more sophisticated. Wikimedia Commons
  • Action movies are always a delight to watch
  • The new-age Hollywood action flicks are getting better day by day

The new age action genres are no longer made up of movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office.

The old fashion of action genre movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office has melted down the lane. Now action flicks are released year-round, and they still dominate the box office. Not only there is a surge in the action movie making but they’re also getting smarter, are more sophisticated, and are attracting Oscar-caliber actors who want to flex their talents and get big payouts.

Also Read: Top 10 Kamal Haasan Movies To Watch Out

The year 2017 saw new instalments in beloved action franchises, some timely and gritty reboots, and the requisite superhero movies.

Take a look at the biggest action movies of the Hollywood in the year 2017.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Episode VIII of the Star Wars is a 2017 American epic space film directed and written by Rian Johnson. It is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise. Wikimedia Commons
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise. Wikimedia Commons

The plot revolves around Rey as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker, in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.

  1. Logan

Logan is an American superhero film which has garnered a lot of fans over the years. The movie is produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and The Donners’ Company. The movie is distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the tenth episode in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final Wolverine solo film following X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine.

Logan is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Wikimedia Commons
Logan is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Wikimedia Commons

Logan has taken inspiration from “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, follows an aged Wolverine and an extremely ill Professor X defending a young mutant Laura from the villainous Reavers and Alkali-Transigen.

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2

The chapter 2 of John Wick is an action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The second sequel to the John Wick film series, the plot follows hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. The movie featured Ruby Rose, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio and Ian McShane.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is the second sequel to the John Wick film series. Wikimedia Commons
John Wick: Chapter 2 is the second sequel to the John Wick film series. Wikimedia Commons

The second part of John Wick also marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Fishburne since appearing together in The Matrix trilogy.

Also Read: 7 Best Movies Of Bollywood Star Sidharth Malhotra

  1. Wonder Woman

The movie, Wonder Woman is based on the DC Comics character and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fourth sequel to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and is directed by Patty Jenkins. The movie featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role. Other supporting actors include Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya.

Wonder Woman featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role.Wikimedia Commons
Wonder Woman featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role.Wikimedia Commons

Following Gal Gadot’s debut in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman is the second live-action theatrical film featuring the titular character. The movie is about the story of Diana Prince, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira.  Then Diana leaves her home to end the conflict.

  1. Justice League

Justice League is a superhero based film on the DC Comics superhero team. It is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).  Justice league starred Ben Affleck in the lead role and other as, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons.

Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Wikimedia Commons
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Wikimedia Commons

In Justice League, the Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg form a team to honour the memory of Superman. Later they save earth from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is the continuation of 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. The movie is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor. Thor: Ragnarok is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi. Wikimedia Commons
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi. Wikimedia Commons

The movie is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi. Thor: Ragnarok features Chris Hemsworth as Thor and others as Tessa Thompson, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins. In the movie, Thor tries to escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The movie is co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios. The Homecoming is the second Spider-Man film and the sixteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is directed by Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role and others as Donald Glover and Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya Robert Downey Jr. Spider-Man: Homecoming is distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role. Wikimedia Commons
Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role. Wikimedia Commons

The movie plot is about Peter Parker, who tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man while facing the Vulture.

  1. Dunkirk

Dunkirk is a British, American, French, and Dutch co-production movie depicting the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. It is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan and was distributed by Warner Bros.

Dunkirk is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan. Wikimedia Commons
Dunkirk is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan. Wikimedia Commons

Dunkirk cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan and Tom Hardy.