If they rejected something, we must respect that: Amitabh Bachchan
Flops like “Nishabd” and “Cheeni Kum” have not dissuaded Amitabh Bachchan from experimenting with different roles under new directors.
“I don’t know if the audiences are ready or not for such films. From the box office results, perhaps not, but for me as an artiste it gave me tremendous creative satisfaction, on a par with what I experienced in ‘Black’,” Amitabh told IANS in an interview.
His latest experiment was with Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh. Big B teamed up with him in “The Last Lear”, which was well received at the Toronto Film Festival.
“Ritu is new to me as a director but not to the film world. He is a sensitive accomplished and acclaimed director. Intelligent and forthright,” said Amitabh.
Q: Another new director, Rituparno Ghosh. I believe the last stint in Mussoorie was loads of fun. Do share.
A: Ritu is new to me as a director but not to the film world. He is a sensitive, accomplished and acclaimed director. Intelligent and forthright. The entire making of “Lear” was exciting and fun-filled. Which really is such a clichéd remark because everyone says the same for all their films.
Mussoorie was a five-day schedule, completed in just two days. It is a rarity, but when it happens, it can only be fun.
Q: You even wrote the Hindi dialogues for a scene. Have you lately become more participative?
A: I would like to believe that I have always been participative in all my films. I wrote the scene because Ritu’s Hindi is somewhat rusty. And it wasn’t as though I did something historic. All I was asked to do was to translate from English to Hindi. Anyone can do that.
A: The only similarity is the age difference between the two main characters. “Nishabd” was a serious introspective look at an odd situation and its repercussions, “Cheeni Kum” was situational, light-hearted and hopefully funny, with tongue firmly in cheek.
I think director Balkrishnan deliberately kept himself, the screenplay and the performances away from the norm even though situations may have warranted it. It was just another love story, except the boy is 64, the girl is 32 and her father is 58.
Q: Audiences, especially women, absolutely rejected the generation-challenged relationship in “Nishabd”. Was the vehemence of the rejection a shock to you? Do you feel audiences aren’t ready for radical shifts in the depiction of romantic relationships?
A: Audiences are always right. If they rejected something, we must respect that. No, the vehemence of the rejection was not a shock because there were a whole lot of very welcome and congratulatory reactions. I stored them on my phone. They serve me whenever I need an adrenaline rush. I don’t know if the audiences are ready or not for such films. From the box office results, perhaps not, but for me as an artiste it gave me tremendous creative satisfaction, on a par with what I experienced in “Black”.
Q: How different is the experience of working with a younger actress opposite you like Rani Mukerji in “Black”, Jiah Khan in “Nishabd” and Tabu in “Cheeni Kum”?
A: No difference at all. Should there be any? We all play our parts as directed. We all mingle and enjoy the experience of working together. We share our creativity and look forward to enjoying its results.
A: I couldn’t agree with you more. She is simply exemplary. She works from within. Nothing that comes out from her as a performance is without conviction. She brings the emotions from the bottom of her heart. A keen observer can actually see the emotion building up within, welling up in the eyes, before it pours out from her face and mouth. Simply extraordinary!
Q: How were your screen dynamics with her?
A: My screen dynamics with her are an embarrassment to me. Because you simply continue to admire her wide-mouthed, often forgetting that you are in the frame as well. In fact, her personal demeanour is no different either. It’s such a delight to be in her company.