One man, many roles

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 28.11.05
Rajat Kapoor at the Anuranon workshop with Rituparna Sengupta. Picture by Aranya Sen

For his first Bengali film, Rajat Kapoor is set on speaking the language well. ?Learning Bengali is not that difficult; it?s not an alien language like Tamil,? says the actor-film-maker, in town for a day?s workshop for Aniruddha Chowdhury?s Anuranon.

There are several reasons why he has chosen to act in this debut directorial project. ?I liked the script, I liked the role and I liked the fact that I would be working with Rahul (Bose) and Rituparna (Sengupta). I also liked Aniruddha and the fact that it?s a small-budget film. I will go out of my way to help small-budget films,? says Kapoor, whose fund-raising effort to make Raghu Romeo is part of the film?s lore.

Kapoor has proved his acting skills in films like Dil Chahta Hai and Monsoon Wedding, and made his presence felt in several commercials on television. He is currently shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar?s Corporate, alongside Bipasha Basu and Kay Kay.

Yet, the acting workshop with the Calcutta cast found him at his serious best. ?Every minute spent together helps. You get to know the people you are working with? a film is a collaborative effort,? says Kapoor, taking a break from a session with Rituparna, Aniruddha and acting coach Sohag Sen at a Jhowtola Road house.

Does being a director help the actor? ?Yes, of course. I understand the camera, what the director is looking for. Being a director myself, I know the fact that as an actor you don?t need to do anything.?

In Anuranon ? the film is about two married couples and the undercurrents in their relationships ? Kapoor plays Raima Sen?s husband. ?A man with lots of money, some arrogance and a little sense of humour? is how he likes to describe his character.

?He and his wife are not connecting very well,? adds Kapoor, whose forthcoming release Mixed Doubles also takes a look at the marriages of two urban couples. But the two films are as different as they can be, he insists. ?Different situations, different people, different sensibilities.?

The film, also starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey and Koel Purie, is slated for release in January.

The other project occupying Kapoor?s mindspace is a film called Mithya. ?It?s about a very bad actor. But it?s not an autobiography,? he smiles. The script had been written six years ago but couldn?t be made for want of a producer. Now, Kapoor is trying to raise money for the project. The cast has not been finalised yet, but he is toying with some big names.

?I wanted the best. I wanted Naseer (Naseeruddin Shah) six years ago. But I don?t think he will fit the role anymore? Now I am thinking of Arshad Warsi or Saif Ali Khan,? says Kapoor, who will be back in town ? this time with his family ? next month to shoot for Anuranon.