Rahul Bose on a high

RAHUL BOSE is one of the few who are a cut above the rest and failures do little to diminish his appeal as an actor. In a freewheeling chat, the talented actor discusses his first love movies. Excerpts:

rahulYour latest film Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli was not a commercial success.

It was a flop! You are just trying to be polite by saying it wasn't a commercial success. It did not do well at the box office. The first weekend ran full house, but after that it was just empty theaters. But it was a brilliant movie. All the children who watched it loved the film.

Then why did it bomb?

There are a number of reasons. I think the timing of the release was bad. The movie was a children's movie. If Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli had been released during the holiday season, kids would've come to the theaters to watch it. When the movie released, the first weekend saw a lot of children coming to watch it but throughout the week the movie ran to empty halls. The next weekend Himesh Reshammiya's Aap Kaa Suroor released, blowing all chances of Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli succeeding. Better marketing could've worked in the film's favour. But good timing is very important.

You have always managed to stay away from the traditional hero mould. Why?

Yes, I have because I choose to. I choose films that give me good scope for performance. In Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli I don't think I did a good job. The kids did. They were wonderful. There were some script problems and of course, bad timing that couldn't save the film.

Not many children's films are made in India. What do you think is the reason?

It is true that not many children's films are being made in India, which is why I said yes to this film even though it hasn't done much good for my career. Traditionally, children's market has been the biggest market in the world. It has not been tapped well in India but I think more and more resources are being pumped into children's entertainment now. Aditya Chopra's tie-up with Disney is very promising. We are definitely taking steps forward.

Rahul Bose is a name that people associate more with art films...

True, people tend to think that way. But I have also made sure I do a good mix of roles. I make sure I give something different every two-three years. I did a Jhankaar Beats that was a musical after which I did Pyaar Ke Side Effects which was a masala movie. Then I did Takshak, which was half commercial and half art. And now, Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli. I like to experiment. I would love to do an action movie before I die.

And skin flicks? (Tongue-firmly-in-cheek) Would you want to do those too?

There are two categories of people who make movies. One category makes it just to earn money and the other category makes it for the sake of art. For the ones who want to make money, what better way than skin flicks? There are always people who are interested in skin flicks. Our society is a sexualized society. Women are seen as sex symbols everywhere. In the media, in fashion circles, in offices, wherever one goes, a woman is seen as sexual. Except in politics. These kind of movies will always have a market. They will continue being made.

Tell us one good thing and one bad thing about Rahul Bose.

I am very impatient and tactless. Good things, ummmm, I am still thinking (Laughs).

A lot of radical filmmakers are entering Bollywood. What do you think are the hurdles facing them?

I think the biggest hurdle these people face is funding. But again, with the multiplex culture, distributors and exhibitors are looking for a wide variety. So, if one markets his product properly, it is not that difficult.

Where do you think India stands in the world cinema circuit?

I think the world is curious about the Indian film industry. It doesn't fall under the category of world cinema. What most of the world doesn't know is that India also makes sensitive art films. Their perception of Indian films is that they are all about colorful song-dance routines filled with melodrama and passion.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

My film The Whisperers with Manoj Bajpai is due for release. Aparna Sen's Japanese Wife is nearing completion. I have a feeling that it is going to be better than Mr & Mrs Iyer. I am also going to start shooting a courtroom drama and a story of love, terror and betrayal by Anirudra Roy Chaudhary. Kay Kay Menon also features in the film.

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