‘I am not okay with cinema being called an industry’

‘I am not okay with cinema being called an industry’

Actor Suchendra Prasad, known for his work in parallel cinema, says theatre will always be his first choice

Suchendra Prasad

A well-known name in the Kannada industry, actor Suchendra Prasad is lauded for his work in movies ‘Kanooru Heggadithi’, ‘Bettada Jeeva’, ‘Drishya’ and ‘Ananthu Vs Nusrath’.

Also a theatre artiste, he has worked with legendary names including B V Karanth and D R Ankur.

He is a man with many talents. He is well-versed with direction, choreography, music composition music and play writing.

‘Majjige Huli’ is the latest film he starred in. Suchendra Prasad talks to Metrolife about the movie, theatre, his acting career and more.

You entered the industry as a theatre artiste. You have been a part of many other films and serials to date. What do you like the best?
Theatre will always be my first choice. There’s direct contact with the audience there; you know what is working and what is not at that moment. The possibilities and probabilities to experiment are also high. You get to lay your hands on various departments in theatre, whereas in film making, you are sort of tied to your own role.

How was it working with big name like B V Karanth and Girish Karnad? Do you see any difference in the industry then and now?
Their working style was different. They were in it for the art and the zeal to achieve something. But today, the concept of ‘I am investing this much, I should get back this much’ is ruining the creative minds. We are living in a fast environment now and the entire thought process is not on the right path.

Bengaluru does not have proper places to stage plays at the moment. What do you have to say about this? What is the future of theatre?
This problem has been there for a very long time. There was a phase when theatre once gave the best of the best to the society; it has diminished now. We have to accept that fact that nowadays some of the theatre presenters and practitioners are into this only for the sake of it. The future is of theatre will be secure if we pull up our socks now.

Tell us a bit about the film ‘Majjige Huli’.
‘Majjige Huli’ is another experiment in the Kannada industry. The film is not just about fights and romantic scenes. It talks about the direction our country is heading towards at present. I would not call it an offbeat film, but a few usual commercial elements have been taken off from the film.

You have been in the industry for a long time now. How has the journey been so far?
Firstly, I am not okay with people calling it an industry; it is a medium. The directors today have changed the entire definition of cinema. There was a time when 30 theatres in Mumbai were playing Kannada films and now, not even one theatre play them. It’s high time we reinvent, revisit and ponder on what went wrong.

Lastly, your advice to young actors and directors entering the field.
Be it theatre or cinema, it is an art. It can’t be taught, but can be learnt. Youngsters these days enter the field without any prior knowledge; they have to learn to walk before they run. Also, they expect instant success, which is never the case. One must not heed or give in to such pleasures; everyone should have their share of experiences, be it good or bad.

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