Metrolife: Anant Nag plays man forced to find work at 65

Metrolife: Anant Nag plays man forced to find work at 65

Anant Nag

In his latest film, Anant Nag plays a middle-class man forced to find a job at 65.

Hottegagi Genu Battegagi, releasing today, is inspired by a Kanakadasa poem, and talks about how everyone must play a variety of roles to be able to earn a livelihood.

Anant Nag chooses his scripts cautiously, and many of his recent releases have veered away from the formula. His latest character must change to adapt to a new work environment, and the film talks about the emotional adjustments he must make.

In an interview with Metrolife, he shares his experience:

Tell us about your latest role in Hottegagi Genu Battegagi.

The subject is complex and multilayered. It is about human relationships and explores how the older generation adapts to a new environment. It delves into many subjects, such as job security and the functioning of the private sector. There’s conflict and conflict resolution as well.

What is your character like?

I play a man forced into retirement because the publishing house he used to work for goes bankrupt. He has a modest house and all basic necessities. But he is short of money and that’s what forces him to seek employment at 65. He finds a job in a textile company headed by a woman entrepreneur. The story moves on to how the old man moves centre stage.

What other characters do you confront?

I have many scenes with Radhika. Our characters are total opposites. While I am a music lover, Radhika is put off by anybody who likes music. Her mother is a classical singer and Radhika believes her father and mother were separated because of her mother’s obsession for music. Very serious emotional scenes come into play.

 How was it for you to play the character?

It was rather tough. My character has few dialogues. I have to convey whatever I want to through silence at my workplace because the concept of a boss doesn’t exist. Everybody has to do everything. So my character ends up doing all kinds of jobs. I am mocked at and ridiculed by youngsters. All 
this is captured in a subtle way.

How was it working with director Narendra Babu?

I was drawn to Narendra’s writing. The few lines I have are beautiful, strong and thoroughly engaging. I had to be very alert. The youngsters were all from theatre and good at their work. It was challenging to be with them and hold my fort.

 You are playing diverse roles these days. Is the change conscious?

Young directors are very intense and sure about what they want. They come up with new ideas everytime they make a film. There was a phase in my life when I worked on films based on novels, I later moved to scripts that leaned towards entertainment. I think the audiences are open to scripts that are unconventional and with some underlying values.