Kolkata: Actor Saurabh Shukla said the COVID- induced lockdown gave him an opportunity to read and reflect, more importantly get his creative juices flowing, and he ended up making a full-length one-man feature film where he donned the hat of a writer, director and the only character. The 90-minute film, currently in its post-production stages, is funny, dark and thrilling, Shukla said, adding that he would be soon sending his latest movie for screening at festivals.
The veteran actor, all excited to work in Kaushik Gangulys first Hindi flick ‘Manohar Pandey’, also said that Kolkata is his home, and he loves the city for his unique character, culture and food. “Ganguly has made some amazing films. He is multi- talented, and can write direct and act equally well. This film has a soul, it has humour in it but you cant really brand it as just another comedy.
“Also, I will be sharing screen space with talented co- stars Supriya Pathak and Raghubir Yadav, and I am looking forward to it,” the Bollywood actor, who is in the city for shooting of the film, told PTI. Shukla, also said that he would want to do a Bengali film someday.
Asked about his journey in the film industry — from Shekhar Kapurs ‘Bandit Queen’ to ‘Manohar Pandey’ the National Award-winning actor underlined that the experience so far has been a fulfilLing one, but not without a fair share of hiccups. “I was overweight, and was usually cast in roles that amused the audience. Comedy also elicits pathos, but that concept wasnt there in Hindi films. We just want an overweight person to be funny.
“It was Sudhir Mishra, who gave me the role of a professional killer in ‘Is Raat ki Subah Nahi’, and my work was noticed and appreciated,” the 57-year-old actor said. Talking about the mushrooming OTT (over-the-top) sites, and the fear that it could overshadow big screen films, Shukla said that every new platform creates its own space, and can co-exist with other mediums.
He, however, expressed concern over the growing censorship over art and films in the country. “Censorship has its pros and cons. It is, in some cases, necessary. But, objecting to anything and everything that is not suited to a particular taste and culture is not acceptable,” he said.
On a lighter note, ‘Kallu Mama’ of Ram Gopal Varmas Satya also shared that he loves sports, and takes table tennis pretty seriously. “As and when I visit a new city, especially for my shoots, I get in touch with the table tennis clubs there. I have had the opportunity to play with professionals, be it in Los Angeles, London or Lucknow. Not many know that Bengal has some very talented TT players.
“I got to play with some of them at a club in Bhawanipore here, and it has been an enriching experience,” he signed off..