After disappearing from the big screen for a year, Rahul Bagga is back as the lead protagonist in journalist-turned-filmmaker Vinod Kapri’s ‘Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho’, a social satire. In this interview, the actor talks about the film, sharing space with veterans and the value of entertainment in cinema.
The first poster of ‘Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho’ was quite interesting what with you dressed as a groom and a buffalo portrayed as the bride.
The poster depicted what the film is all about. In this film, Arjun, the character that I play, is being forced to marry a buffalo. The film is based on a real-life incident that happened in Rajasthan. A man was framed with false charges by some powerful people as he had an affair with a married woman. He was falsely accused to have raped a buffalo and was sentenced for a five year prison term. Now, the man has come out of jail as the High Court dismissed the case. Mr. Vinod Kapri, the writer and director of this film, wrote a fictionalized screenplay based on this incident and came up with an additional track of people trying to get the guy married to the buffalo. It is a satire on our political and legal system which is not very supportive of people who come from the lower section of the society.
The film has veteran actors like Om Puri, Annu Kapoor and Sanjay Mishra, among others. Did you ever fear being overshadowed by their presence in the film?
The film features some of the finest and most experienced actors. They have much more experience than I have. But, I never felt that I could be overshadowed by them. In fact, I was constantly learning from them. Plus, I am very confident about my abilities as an actor. In Mumbai, I see most of the actors competing with each other. Honestly, if you look from an actor’s viewpoint, there is no competition. At the end of the day, we are working on the same film and with the same script. I cannot comment about the West as I have not worked there but in this industry I have seen people trying to overshadow each other. I do not know where that feeling comes from. You should do justice to the character you are playing. There is no point in competing with another actor. When I was shooting, I was confident of myself and dd not get intimidated by anybody. I got to learn a lot from these experienced actors by interacting them.
The film is a social satire. Do you think adding elements like humour to a film dealing with a serious issue makes it more accessible to the audience?
One has to understand that people come to theatres to have a good time. Multiplex tickets do not come cheap. So, if a family spends a substantial part of their income to visit a theatre, they expect to get entertained. They do not want to get depressed or sad while watching a film. We have to make sure that they get their money’s worth. Having said that, I feel entertainment has become a misinterpreted term. You do not have to resort to vulgarity or cheap thrills to entertain the audience. Entertainment can be enriching and informative. Our film conveys a message in an entertaining manner. It is entertaining enough to reach out to a large audience.