Free Press Journal

The forgotten stars are back, with the Mirror Game


The cast of the movie has been off the big screen for a quite some time now. The last time we remember seeing Pooja Batra was during ABCD 2, Pravin Dabas was last seen in Rajini MMS 2 and Omi Vaidya seemed to have vanished from Bollywood post the forgettable movie Jodi Breakers. But Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru – a psychological thriller seems to mark their comeback of sorts. While the film and the cast have been receiving rave reviews, but they are battling tough odds with six other movies.

Chatur was missed

His role as Chatur Ramalingam a.k.a ‘The Silencer’ got him immense popularity not just in India, but abroad as well. But after the success of 3 Idiots, Omi seems to be missing from Bollywood, he wasn’t even present for the promotions of his ‘comeback’ movie. “We wished he could be part of the promotions but unfortunately was busy shooting for another film abroad right now,” said the debutant director Vijit Sharma, adding more about Omi’s role in the movie. “Omi has a perception of a funny person but in this movie, he has a very serious character and has done an exceptional job. It was great working with him, he is an interesting person on screen and off-screen.”

Even his co-star Pravin reminisced his presence in the movie, “Omi was very fun and lovely to work with. His character in the film is completely different from what we are used to seeing him,” Pravin evoked.

“Omi is a fabulous actor and great stand-up comedian, it was nice to get to know him,” Pooja added.

Missing in action

Like Omi, even Pooja and Pravin have been missing in action for a while now. Both have been part of some very popular movies in the past, Pravin actually found his foothold in Bollywood with Mira Niar’s Monsoon Wedding and Pooja has been part of over 32 movies now after her much appreciated debut in Virasat. “After Rajini MMS 2, I had to take a break as I had some back problems. But I happy to be back with such a movie,” Pravin said.
“I had moved to the US, life took over and acting was put on a backseat waiting for right roles to come back,” Pooja said as she tried not to divulge about her personal life.

Something Amiss

After playing the obedient son in Monsoon Wedding and Khosla Ka Ghosal, Pravin was essentially was perceived as a “good boy” and was even offered such roles. In spite of the popularity of his films, Pravin was unable to establish himself in the big leagues. “That’s how people think sometimes. When someone has done a particular role well and when people are looking out for a similar character they think of that actor. It’s up to the person then to say no to those roles. But I tried to branch out as an actor and experimented with different types of roles that put my abilities forward,” Pravin said.

Pooja was one of the very few actresses who was tall beautiful and slim, a criterion which is a must nowadays in the film industry. But even after all that she could not enter the big leagues, some attribute her height to her blockade as most of the actors at that time were not very tall. “I don’t know whether that was the issue. Even if it was they never told me. Moreover, if it was such a big criteria I wouldn’t have done thirty-two films, if you compare actors in Hollywood like Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman they are taller than me and are very successful. So I don’t think height was the hindrance as it is made out to be,” Pooja dismissed.

Playing the game
Shot entirely in the US, Mirror Game is about a psychology professor in New Jersey battling complications in his personal and professional lives. When his path crosses with an ambitious young student who asks for help with his research, the professor finds himself getting sucked into a whirlpool of mind games that he seems to have little control over.

Although it is a physiological thriller, Pravin says his emotional connect to the character was enough rather than doing research. “It was an interesting character. I did read on the subject. It’s also a lot about the emotional connection and knowing a lot about what’s being talked about. When it comes to emotional connection, according to me, you shouldn’t get too intellectual with the character. The hardest part is to emotionally connect with the character,” Pravin said.

“I did watch a lot of thrillers, pretty much everyone in America is aware of therapy, it is quite common here. I had made a conscious decision to make my character something different that people have not seen on the screen before. Also, I have been done some therapy sessions as well so I was aware of it,” Pooja said.

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