Bandaa actor Manoj Bajpayee's shocking statement on theatres: When we started celebrating box office, that’s when we went completely wrong

Bandaa actor Manoj Bajpayee's shocking statement on theatres: When we started celebrating box office, that’s when we went completely wrong

The Bollywood star spills the beans about his upcoming film and why the advent of OTT changed the game for him

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Monday, May 08, 2023, 10:27 PM IST
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Manoj Bajpayee | Pic: Instagram/bajpayee.manoj

Manoj Bajpayee will soon be seen as a lawyer in Bandaa. The makers unveiled the film’s trailer on May 8. Directed by Apoorv Singh Karki, the courtroom drama will release on ZEE5 on May 23. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Manoj talks about the movie and more. Excerpts:

How is Bandaa different from OMG: Oh My God! and Dharam Sankat Mein that are on similar subjects?

It is a courtroom drama that is inspired by true events that are available in the public domain. There are punishments against them on record and nothing has been created, it is just that the writer has formed a story. Also, I have not done something like this. I have never played a lawyer so actively in court. The only time I played a lawyer was 28 years ago in a television show Swabhimaan which aired on Doordarshan.

Could you share something more about your role in the film?

He is a small town guy, who is a Shiva devotee. He gets a case and then he relentlessly goes against the bigwigs of the country. And how he gets justice for the girl in the end is the main crux of my character.

Do you believe in godmen in real life?

I feel that merely two to three godmen cannot malign the great gurus and their teachings. I can’t talk about my spiritual guru since I am not allowed to. But all I can say is that our gurus from the ancient times have been imparting knowledge to people. Their knowledge has come handy to the citizens. And, I must say that followers give power to godmen.

For someone like you, who has always done content-driven cinema, how far OTT has changed things for you?

Cinema here in India has always welcomed mainstream films. Later, we started celebrating box office and that’s when we went completely wrong. Instead of focusing on the quality, they all started judging the film by its money earned. When that happened, content took a back seat. With OTT, we got more buyers and takers for good content, be it any genre.

Go on…

OTT is very powerful and has given a belief in cinema with content. I personally want cinemas to be back and it will happen in a couple of years. But, I strongly feel that these two mediums can co-exist together. It will be a fair comparison and that comparison will only give a chance to great cinema and opportunities to several talented people.

How far has life changed after The Family Man?

It has undeniably given a boost to my career. Although I was doing well with independent cinema and mainstream commercial blockbusters like Baaghi 2 (2018) and Satyameva Jayate (2018), my work on OTT has widened my fanbase and reached to every household.

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