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The Rediff Interview
'I didn't expect an award. No one does'
Patcy N |
July 05, 2005
After proving a sensation at festivals all over, Anup Kurian's Mansarovar is finally ready for a theatrical release in India.
Atul Kulkarni, the film's leading man, won the special jury award at the International Film Festival of Mumbai for his work in Mansarovar and the Marathi film Devrai.
The actor, currently working in Aamir Khan's new film, Rang De Basanti, spoke to
Patcy N. Excerpts:
Mansarovar is a love story. And it's about the characters -- two brothers, who meet a girl at different times. That story is gradually revealed to the audience.
Ravi Roy, the character that I am playing, is unique. He is a combination of rural sensibilities and honesty, modern education and modern living. Zafar Karachiwala (who starred in Chai Pani Etc) plays my brother in the film.
Director Anup Kurian had seen my movies earlier. One day, he found my number and called me up. He came to my home and narrated the story.
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The story that Anup had written was wonderful, especially the character he had sketched. I think half the job was done when he wrote the script.
The whole team was from FTII (The Film and Television Institute of India, in Pune), as the director is from FTII, and they were young, enthusiastic newcomers. I was not apprehensive of taking up this role because I have always been working with new directors.
Awards always give you a nice feeling, so when I got the jury award at an international festival, I felt good. But I did not expect an award. No one ever does.
An actor works for the role. I never even knew that there was such an award. I didn't travel to any of the festivals where the movie went.
A film's story must always appeal to the audience, and I think Mansarovar has a story that might appeal to moviegoers. So I am really counting on the story and the characterisation, especially of Ravi Roy.
(Laughs) I am not at all close to my character in real life! There is no similarity at all.
I have been doing fewer movies. I don't like to work 365 days a year, and I wait for good roles. This is how I always wanted to work, so numbers have never mattered to me.
Both Neha and Zafar Karachiwala are from theatre background, like me. So there was a different kind of bonding. We had seen each other's plays, we sort of 'knew' each other as actors; so that was a good start. When we read the script and we told each other what we felt about the script, we found that we agreed on most things. We shared a nice relationship.