The Kirti Kulhari talks to Nikita Wadhawan about the CBFC and Congress’s objection to her new movie and much more…
Although she started her journey from a commercial movie Khichdi: The Movie, actress Kirti Kulhari now only wants to do meaningful cinema with power pack roles. After the critically acclaimed PINK, the actress is back in another titular role in National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar’s new movie ‘Indu Sarkar’. Based on the Emergency era the movie has created ripples in the political circle, even before its release. Something that the actress believes is very silly. Excerpts from the interview:
How do you feel about the censor board asking for 14 cuts in the film?
I am very surprised. I didn’t expect it to have so many cuts. When I heard the details of things of what they have asked to be cut I was taken aback. If you cut the important scenes then what will remain of the film.
Do you think they ordered the cuts as they were worried about the polarising environment that is prevailing in the country?
Honestly, I find it very childish. Firstly we are living in an age of social media where everything is available to everyone. What are we scared of, even if it triggers more discussions so be it. I am saying that here is a film that talks about a very important chapter in Indian history, so how can they be scared to show something that is already available to us? CBFC is a body that should be just be giving certifications and not deciding what should be in a film and what should not.
Did you expect this reaction when you were filming the movie?
Not really, our shoot went off very smoothly. I think the better part of me thought that people would understand where we were coming from. Everyone takes everything so personally, politics should remain far from movies. We are showing the political environment that existed at that time. No one should have a problem with it. We live in a country right now that everyone has an opinion and no one has any tolerance for others opinions.
What would you say to the people who say that this movie is a BJP agenda?
I wish it was for one reason as we would have more money to make this film. The movie was made on a very limited budget and it is just very silly of people to have such notions. Why is everything so political? Madhur has made this film because he wanted to as he wanted to show this subject to others.
Do you think it is right for a political party to ask for a special screening of a film?
No, it is not right. We have enough to do in our life than sit with an agenda to show congress down. No one from any party has the right to ask a filmmaker to show them their work for verification. Madhur is not obliged to show the film people who have served Congress in the last 50 years a film.
How did you do any research for the film, did you talk to your parents about how things were during the Emergency?
I did have a brief interaction with my dad about that time. He didn’t know much of what was happening during that time, but he does remember the forced sterilisation that was on, and he recalled seeing every man in his village running and hiding, including my grandfather.
How was the experience working with Madhur?
Madhur is a very non-serious person, unlike his films. He is a very fun director to work with, it was really easy shooting the film. He is a very simple guy and that reflects in the way he makes his films. Even though the subject is complex he makes them in a very simple way. It has been a great experience.
Although this is not your first brush with Emergency, you also did a film called SAN 75…
Yes, but the storyline is not similar. The only similarity is the Emergency. It is a story through the emergency but it is a thriller. But I think the way emergency is taken head on in Indu Sarkar it is very different from SAN 75.
First PINK and now Indu Sarkar, you have taken a shine to strong female characters, do you want to continue with such roles or would eventually like to do commercial cinema?
I don’t know how much masala I can take. It is difficult for me to choose nonsensical roles, so I don’t know under what circumstance will I ever say yes to any of that stuff specifically. I would defiantly like to be a part of good cinema, whether masala or bland.
Why is it difficult?
Because it is not my sensibilities. It is a cinema I don’t enjoy watching, how can I enjoy doing it? That’s is also why I don’t do television. I am in this industry for the love of acting, so I want to enjoy the process of being an actor and not just doing for money and popularity.
Is there anyone in the industry you really look up to?
I really look up to Vidya, Ranbir Kapoor, Kangana in terms of her choice of roles. Also look up to Alia, I think she is a very good actor. There is so much to learn from all of them. I even look up to Konkana.
Who do you see as your competition?
I know this will sound very cliché but everyone is my competition and at the same time no one is. There is so much of work for everyone so everyone has the opportunity to showcase their work.
There was a time when you used to go for auditions and pitch for roles but now directors are coming to you. How does that feel now?
I am still called for auditions. But the feeling was great, I had just finished PINK and the response was so great. After that, I wanted to make the right choices and Indu felt that it was the right thing to do.