8/18/12

A STRAIGHT TALK WITH "PERPENDICULAR"


It did well at Cannes and it is doing well at the box office. This is something that could rarely ever be said for an Indian film. But with Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap has changed certain notions in the Indian Film Industry. While many trade pundits believe that this is the future of the Indian mainstream, independent film makers have crowned Kashyap the king of their movement and are now more fearless than ever to just go out there and make their film.

Also, with unusual (read brilliant) casting in the form of a Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead and a Tigmanshu Dhulia as the bad guy, Kashyap's masterpiece has after a long time made the Indian audience fall in love with characters and not stars. Playing the lovable yet up to no good teenager, Perpendicular in part-two, Aditya Kumar, leaves a strong impression on the audience, even if his character appears for roughly 10-15 minutes in the film. In this exclusive interview to Cue For Change, Aditya opens up about his character, the preparation and working with Anurag Kashyap.

Q4C: Before anything else, how old are you?
AK: 24!

Q4C: And you played a 14 year old most convincingly. What kind of effort went behind that?
AK: Firstly, I lost a lot of weight. But more importantly, I followed the mannerisms of kids- the way they talk, the way they walk and carry themselves. For me, it was a trip back to childhood. 

Q4C: Your character, "Perpendicular" appears for merely 10-15 minutes, yet leaves such a strong impact on the audience. Would you call it your dream debut?
AK: If your first film is an Anurag Kashyap film, it has to be a dream debut. Though I would love to do longer roles as well, but I think that the strength of the character is more important than the length he appears on screen. I couldn't have asked for more from my first film. 

Q4C: Tell us more about working with Anurag Kashyap...
AK: Every moment you spend around Anurag Kashyap is a valuable lesson to learn. He is a very passionate filmmaker and I wouldn't hesitate a bit to say that he is way ahead of his time. His works are study material for other people in cinema. His ideas are so advanced that most of the times when he says something, we understand it an hour later!

Q4C: How did you get so good with the blade?
AK: I practiced keeping the blade in my mouth for about 8 months. Initially I would get a few scratches, but eventually I got the hang of it.

Q4C: And how were you so natural with the lisp?
AK: Usually in films, actors tend to exaggerate when they play a character with a speech impediment. I wanted to be as natural as possible because I think that is what makes the audience relate to the character. I remembered a man in my village who had a lisp. I shot some footage of him speaking and by repeatedly watching that, I could do my best to make my lisp natural.

Q4C: Probably the best scene involving Perpendicular was the one where he was being chased by the cops. How difficult was the making?
AK: I have explained the making in detail in another interview, but in short, I had to chase the camera, the distance was short and so was the time, hence it was a difficult scene to shoot. Also, it was the first ever action sequence I have done in any form of acting. We did many rehearsals before shooting it, but the end product came in a single take. 

Q4C: There is no doubt that Gangs of Wasseypur has given a huge stride to the Independent Cinema movement in India.  What are your thoughts on this?
AK: Definitely! The film has been well received by critics and has done well commercially. But the important thing is that there was never a film like this made before in India, at least in Hindi cinema. Anurag Kashyap is leading the independent cinema movement right now by fearlessly doing what he wants to. And I think THAT is the message to aspiring filmmakers. And if you see the trends, everyone is following Kashyap, even the ones who make commercial cinema. From Zoya Akhtar to Karan Johar, everyone's work has been affected in some form or the other by the elements of Kashyap's works. The audience today is learning more about good cinema and demands a film to have a good story. Kashyap is simply telling good stories backed by his technical and creative brilliance. I frankly don't understand why many of today's filmmakers are bereft of ideas for a good story. There is a story to be hold in every Indian household. But then again, only able hands can convert those stories to good cinema.

Q4C: The soundtrack has a song by your character's name. Flattering?
AK: Indeed. It is a background score called Perpendicular (Theme). But it is very nice, I like it.

Q4C: And what about Sneha Khanwalkar?
AK: Brilliant. She is simply brilliant. She is a nice human being, young, energetic, beautiful and simply amazing at what she does. Tell me one music director in our industry who does so much research before giving music to a film. Sneha, being a Mumbai girl recreated Delhi's feel in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, and in Gangs of Wasseypur, her music makes us explore the sounds of Bihar in a very progressive and entertaining manner. In a world where popular music usually comes from Sajid-Wajid, Sneha might just be changing some trends here!

Q4C: Did you know that Tigmanshu Dhulia could act so well?
AK: Tigmanshu Dhulia is an exteremely talented director, but indeed he has a great command on his acting and also on his language. He did a fantastic job playing Ramadhir Singh.

Q4C: The rise and rise of Nawazuddin Siddiqui... 
AK: Nawaz bhai has undoubtedly given his career best performance. Of course, he has the capability to pull something off like this, but I would add that getting a master director like Kashyap pushes you to your extreme limits, which is most vital for an actor. He is a very talented actor and has struggled his way through to become Faizal Khan. Great guy.

Q4C: What kind of films would you like to do ahead?
AK: I am open to all kinds of cinema.

Q4C: What are your future projects?
AK: Right now, I am just chilling!