Actor's take on cinema's future

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  • Published 6.04.13

Bhubaneswar, April 5: Television and film actor Lalit Mohan Tiwari decided to work only in TV and films because there was nothing meaningful happening in theatre.

An alumnus of National School of Drama, Tiwari was in Bhubaneswar for a theatre festival. When asked about the cultural scenario in India, he sounded very sceptical.

“It does not matter if it is theatre or films as long as you are doing good work. Unlike the 60s and 70s, now we don’t have playwrights of calibre. Moreover, folk theatre has become crude. The khadi-clad elite class goes to the theatre that appeals to the urban populace because apparently watching theatre is a sign of intellectualism. Films have great detailing, but one must also understand the technical side,” said Tiwari, who is based in Mumbai.

He has acted in films such as Welcome to Sajjanpur, Ata Pata Lapata and Bad Luck Govind as a character actor. He has also featured in TV serials such as B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat as Sanjay, Shyam Benegal’s Discovery of India and a recent soap Ram Milaye Jodi. His upcoming project is Praying For Rains, a realistic film based on the Bhopal gas tragedy. He plays a Muslim moneylender in the film.

What worries Tiwari the most about the film industry is the complacent attitude of a lot of people.

“In our country, we don’t want to push the envelope. Ben Kingsley was a poor British actor, but he was trained for over a year to get into the character of Gandhi. But here, even those who don’t know the craft get a lot of work while those who know, struggle throughout their lives,” he said.

He also felt that the present crop of NSD students is just interested “to get a diploma and run to Mumbai”.

But why didn’t he take up the cudgels to improve the theatre scenario?

“Changes don’t take place in India like that. Everywhere, there are people who have devoted their life to this (theatre’s) cause. Have they been able to bring any change?” he said.

He also sounded a little wary of working in regional films. “Unless, you are well versed with the language, acting appears very mechanical.”