If you are a fan of movies like ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Bheja Fry’, ‘Monsoon Wedding’, and ‘Kapoor & Sons’, you must be very familiar with Rajat Kapoor's’ work.
He has donned many hats — that of an actor , a filmmaker and even a director. His latest project is the crowd-funded film ‘Mantra’ which is set to release this weekend. In a tete-e-tete with Anila Kurian, he talks about his character in the film and his opinion about the film industry.
Tell us about ‘Mantra’ and the character you play in it.
The movie is set in the early 2000s when globalisation started to take over our country. I play Kapil Kapoor, a businessman whose company is dying because of the MNCs taking over the economy. He is also trying to keep his family together. In short, it is about a dysfunctional family falling apart and how he is trying to make it all work.
It’s not the first time that you’ve worked in a movie where the storyline is about a dysfunctional family. On a personal level, do you think this is the state of families today?
I do, actually. Family values are going down the drain these days. If you look at the movie industry itself, many people are struggling with their marriages. Children
are growing up with one parent, separated parents etc. It has actually become
difficult to find a family who is happy these days. It’s a sad state.
You’ve been in the industry for a very long time. Do you think the portrayal of
a character on stage and screen has changed over the years?
No, I still think it is the same. However, it is different in both mainstream and independent films. In mainstream cinema, you can play around with the character and give it a broader perspective. Independent films don’t allow you to do the same.
According to you, has the functioning of the movie industry in general changed?
Not at all. We all work in the same way we have been doing for several years.
Is that a good or bad thing?
Well, it depends on which side you are on. It might not make a difference in mainstream films but as an independent filmmaker, it is not the best approach. It is
difficult to narrate and connect with the audience. The mindset is still the same even if the people working in the film are trying to make a difference.
Any pet peeves?
Oh, way too many! But the latest discovery is how people have no sense of the other. We think what we know is the only right way and want to impose those ideas on others. We are not patient to hear what the other wants to say.
You come to Bengaluru quite often. Any favourite hangout places?
I usually come for very short trips, but when I do get time, I visit ‘Grasshopper’ .
What do you do when you’re not working?
I write whenever I am free and that is not too often though. I catch up on current issues, spend time with my family. We go for dinners and movies. We also plan a vacation once in a while; Goa is our favourite spot.