Recent releases, The Ghazi Attack and Jolly LLB 2, are winning hearts with the films holding their own at the ticket counter. Apart from content, the films are being appreciated for their outstanding performances. This week, we talk to Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni (The Ghazi Attack), and Rajiv Gupta (Jolly LLB 2), who have delivered sterling performances
Kay Kay Menon
Exploring Human Nature
The Ghazi Attack
First and foremost, I am happy that a film like this is being appreciated as this is not a masala film. So I respect the audience for liking this movie. When people go to cinemas in large numbers for a film like this, it brings hope to cinema in this country.
I was approached for this role by Sankalp Reddy a long time ago. He wanted to make this film on a small budget but I advised him to make it bigger as it required special effects etc. When I met the producers, they said they wanted to make the film just the way it was and not fall prey to the usual marketing gimmicks. It’s the first time in Indian cinema that a submarine film is being made.
It was also an arduous task, right from the first day of the shoot but it was an experience of a lifetime for me. When I saw the sets, I was overwhelmed when I saw the submarine they had created. There was nothing fake about it. It was very refreshing for us to enter that kind of arena, one that was so real.
On the brief
I had read the script a long time ago and the preparation was just like any other film. I completely go with the script given to me and the director’s inputs etc. I usually try to portray the person, not the role. Roles don’t matter; the person I am playing matters. So I was playing Rannvijay Singh as a person, the captain. I love exploring human nature and the way they would behave in a situation intrigues me. It’s something I enjoy doing as an actor.
On his role
I was very happy with my role. There was a need to show the extremes between two people. The extremes had to be large, especially for my character, so that Atul Kulkarni’s character could balance it out. If both characters were sensible, there would be nothing to balance. Rannvijay had to have an extremist’s mindset to bring out the drama in the film. Our performances did not cater to some fantasy; they were earthy and grounded.
On his choice of films
I don’t like playing one particular kind of role. I have done a Honeymoon Travels and a Sankat City, so it’s not that I play only edgy characters. Even when I am playing a negative character, I am still playing a human being, like a villain. Even the negative person believes that whatever he is doing is right. That’s how I have approached all my dark characters.
Fortunately, I have had the chance to also play light-hearted characters. My objective is to make my performances and cinema believable. I am trying my best to give the best content to people and the next generation something to chew on.
On future projects
I am doing a film called Vodka Diaries, which is a psychological thriller. I am still working on it.