Prateik Babbar will be seen in Madhur Bhadarkar’s upcoming directorial venture in India Lockdown. Inspired by true events the film depicts four parallel stories and the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. It also stars Aahana Kumra, Saie Tamhankar and Shweta Basu Prasad. It will premiere on ZEE5 on December 2. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
Madhur is known to be making real on reel what is your part?
I play a character of a migrant worker. Saie and I play husband and wife. We are originally from Bihar living in Mumbai trying to make both the ends meet. I am earning by selling ragda patties. Madhur sir gave us a huge responsibility to represent this community, especially, their struggle through the pandemic and even otherwise as they work on a daily basis.
So, do you agree that they are the underprivileged?
They are primarily the underprivileged. What they went through the lockdown was extremely heart-wrenching and heartbreaking and representing that journey was a huge responsibility. I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I was invested in this opportunity that was bestowed upon me. I was apprehensive about whether I would be able to do this tough character or if I could do justice to this character. However, I was up for the challenge and Madhur sir was very encouraging. His belief and confidence in me really did the job for me. I did this role with all my heart. My mother (late Smita Patil) was known to portray such strong women. Thus I couldn’t wait and was eager to start.
What are your expectations from India Lockdown?
I do expect it to move the entire nation without an iota of doubt. This is a time where all of us shared this angst and confusion and restlessness. Also, universally we shared the emotions everybody will resonate with. It will hopefully strike a chord outside the country too. I would like to add that this is not a reminder of the dark side or struggles. It is a reminder of the human side… How everyone stood by each other and came out of this. We experienced darkness together and came out of it. We have found the light and it's surviving together. This film depicts that.
What is the mantra you would like to share with your readers?
We should live and let live. Spreading love and letting love in is the simple way to survive. We must respect each other as human beings, we must not take our life or love for granted and we must stand for each other as one race. Love has no boundaries and life is too fragile. These are the key elements to live and let live.
What are your forthcoming films?
I have India Lockdown on December 2. Then I have a film called Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan? with Taapsee Pannu. I play the yes man of his wife. Sayani Gupta and I did a film together. It’s a rom-com which is going to happen next year. I have Hiccups and Hookups season 2. That show did well so gearing for it early next year in 2023. There is one more precious thing which I have started my prep for but can’t reveal. My plate is full so I am enjoying this phase.