What is ‘A Death in the Gunj’ all about?
It’s a period film. It’s Konkana’s directorial debut film. It’s a story set in the late 1970’s in the small town, that time Bihar. Bunch of families and friends gather at a holiday home and then it talks about something that happens one week prior to a new year’s and their lives take a turn.
What role are you portraying in the film?
Well, I’m playing Vikram’s character, who belong to a royal family. It’s an ensemble cast which revolves around the protagonist of the film, Vikrant Massey. Whole bunch of us like other characters in the film, Tillotama Shome, Om Puri, Tanuja, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah and Jim Sarbh, we all play an esemble around Vikrant Massey.
The way Konkana has launched her directorial debut film, will you also try your hands in direction in the near future?
It’s not yet fixed. I am not sure whether I will do it or not but as soon as I decide to do it, you will come to know, certainly.
The film has been lauded and appreciated at various International film festivals. Now that the film is all set to release, how excited are you?
Well with every release one feels butterflies in one’s stomach and anxiety about how the audience is going to like the film. But this time the anxiety level is even more as it’s Konkana’s directorial debut film and we are all excited and nervous at the same time.
A Death in the Gunj was made last year but why did it’s release take so much of time? Why the film is releasing this year and not last year?
Well, its a cycle that every small budget film or independent film has to follow. Marketing, distribution and promotions. for such films take time. Mainstream films are mass entertainer films and they don’t take much time in release as compared to low budget films. So, the process for small budget film is little lengthy we have to send such films to various film festivals and invest so much in marketing and promotion then comes the release.
In India, art movies or low budget movies, which have a solid crux with apt story but still mainstream movies with genre like rom-com, action and thriller does awesomely well at the box office and supersedes art movies. Why so?
In my view, there are two reasons for it to happen, firstly, mass entertainer movies have solid back up and support given by marketing people. plenty of money is invested in the process of promotion. Secondly, people in India have a set pattern when it comes to basic Hindi films. They are accustomed to hard core entertainment genre which is why such films does amazingly well at the box office. Entertainment business deliver exactly what the audience have a liking for.
Do you think Hindi cinema has evolved with time?
Yes, for sure, I had started my career in this industry approximately 17 years back and I can see massive change in the industry. Though the change is not much of what I was expecting but still I get my space in the mainstream and happy with whatever opportunity I am getting.
What are your upcoming projects others than A death in the Gunj?
Kadawi Hawa is all set to release, I am quite excited about this one and then comes ‘In The Shadow,’ where I will be working with Manoj vajpayee. I am also doing children films quite a lot since now I am also a father. (laughs)