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Home > Movies > Bollywood News

Meet the star of Bhojpuri cinema

Subhash K Jha | March 29, 2006 20:54 IST

He'stheuncrowned emperorofBhojpuri cinema. Right now, Ravi Kishan isshooting a remake of Mahesh Bhatt's Naam. "It's called Purab Aur Paschim and stars Suman Ranganathanwith me. The directoris Jai Prakash, whodid Manisha Koirala's Market,"says the actor.

Kishan has also just shot with Amitabh Bachchanfor Deepal Sawant'sGanga."It was anunreal experience.He works so hard. When people call me the Amitabh of the Bhojpuriexperience,I feelmy chest swell with pride."

Welcome to the Bhojpuri film boom

Now,inthe eraofremakes, whenother filmmakers are re-doing Don, Sholay and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam,Kishan plans to rework Goutam Ghose's off-beat 1984filmPaar."I'mgoing to producethis purely aiming atthe National Awards," he says. "My name had been sentfor the award for Best Supporting Actorin Tere Naam, but I missedit.This year, forthe Bhojpuri popularawards, Dilip Kumar gave me theBestActor award, which whettedmy appetite.I'm goingto getintothe roleofa low-class pig-tender in Paar, cut my hair, and wallow in mud, just like Naseerbhai. Formyfemale audience, I'll wear a flimsy dhoti and remain bare-bodied and wet throughout."

Nagma, the survivor

Ravi will sign KonkonaSen-SharmaforShabana Azmi's rolein Paar. "I willbe shootingit in June or July. Amol Shetge -- who directedme in Ravi Kissen, where I playthe doubleroleof Ravi and Kissen -- will direct Paar."

Is he flattered to have afilm named after him?"It makes me happy, butremindsmeof myresponsibility. I had touched rock bottom in my career. People said I should pack up and returnto Jaunpur," Kishan says. "My first filmwas Udhar Ki Zindagi with Kajolin 1990. My lastappearance was asthe priestinSatish Kaushik's Tere Naam. I must have done25-odd films and TV serialslike Hello Inspector and Hawaayein. Thiswas when I was almostjobless.Then,Bhojpuri cinemachanged my life."

Big B back on the sets!

He has competed 17 Bhojpuri movies in four years."Iwas theonly one who believedthere was hope forthe Bhojpurifilm industry," he says. "I workedhard in every department -- sitting on scripts, music sittings, casting, etc.I usedall my contacts in Bollywood, and convinced themtowork at a discount. It wasn't easy, butit happened. Gradually, Nagmacame into the picture. Our first film, Panditji Batayeen NaBiyah Kab Hoyee, became amajorhit. The song Lenga uthai remote se wasarage."

He adds, "In Bhojpuri cinema, wecan't show cleavage and kisses. But we can play with words.Middleclass women in Bihar and UP love my antics.They find me very hot.My wife gets insecure about it, but now she understands I have no appetite forthe naughty stuff. I love cinema like amadman."

So, how does this 34-year old with three kidscope with Bhojpuri-speaking womenpropositioning him?"Firmly, respectfully and withnohard feelings," he smiles.

He continues,"The credit mustgo to Mohanji Prasad, godfatherof Bhojpuri cinema. When I was atmy lowest ebbin Hindi cinema, heofferedmeafilm called Saiyyan Hamar.To everyone's surprise, it becamea silver jubilee hit. Six months after its release, I had no work. Then, the offers startedpouring in.All my Bhojpurifilms were hits. I have seenmy darkest days. Now,all my dreams are coming true."

Russian actor in Bhojpuri film

Kishanshootsfivescenes a day,and has 12 filmsonhand. "We shoot generally in Bihar and UP. But now, with theindustry doing well, we've startedshootingabroad. We shota film produced by Udit Narayan in Mauritius.Then, we shot in Britain. I even didaBhojpuri film witha British co-star! Purab Aur Pachchin will be shot in Portugal.We now have Bhojpurifilms going to 54 countries, including West Indies, Surinam andFiji. Only one of my films, Gangaji San Pawan PritiyaHamar,about widowhood, wasn't ahit. It was experimental. I suppose one needs to do something differentonce inawhile, like Paar."

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