Often, director’s casting choices are rather insightful as they are adept. So it was something of a surprise, and then, on second thought it wasn’t when the directors of Shor In The City picked Nikhil Dwivedi as Ramesh, one of Mumbai’s many local ‘bhais’ to be a part of their dark comedy. Just four films old, to his credit, Dwivedi has taken on roles that few men in the industry could – or would – dare to tackle: Raavan and Shor In The City. I met the actor yesterday at the premiere of his latest film for which he is receiving not only applaud but acclaim. Dressed dapper in his black suit well cut out and his white shirt, Nikhil came across as the most relaxed actor from the lot. Yes, it was definitely him. Same squinty eyes, same dark skin and a bit of anxiousness somewhere lurking next to him. Above his head is the title of his new movie, Shor In The City and next to him is his critic. Oh, just to let you know, Nikhil just got married. His wife stands right next to him as he introduces me to her. Handshakes were exchanged and a bit of ‘hi and hellos’ and then comes a shocker, ‘My wife grew up on films that the three Khans – Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman had perfected in the 90s (laughs). Her favourite film is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and I am doing everything but that’, Nikhil quotes and laughs. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent meets the same actor with a new meaning to his life, and that meaning is beautiful, just like his film Shor In The City. Films, Family and Fun, it’s all there in Nikhil Dwivedi’s kitty right now. Presenting you – a complete man!
“When Zanjeer came in 1973, it was a small budget film. All the big stars had rejected hit”
It’s a myth that smaller films didn’t work earlier. When Zanjeer came out in 1973, it was a small budget film. All the big stars had rejected it. It became a cult classic. There was a very small film Jai Santoshi Maa that released opposite Sholay and it went on to become history. Then the entire influx of parallel cinema started. All Hrishikesh Mukerjee’s films were small. Golmaal, Ardh Satya, Chasme Baddoor, etc. All these films aren’t just critically acclaimed but have proved their prowess at the box office too. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron was too a small film. It is not a new phenomenon.
“Today, smaller films are made at an alarming rate because everyone wants to watch it”
Because of the multiplexes that have come into being, these films are finding a larger audience. Back in the days, it had a niche audience. Today everyone wants to know about it. The masses didn’t usually appreciate such cinema back then. But the masses today are curious to see these films because they have strong and good content. I feel that smaller films today are made at an alarming rate than what they used to be made in the 70s and 80s which is very heartening.
“I chose Shor In The City because it had a good story and not because it had an ensemble cast”
I always try to be a part of good stories. Yes, a few of my films haven’t worked at the box office but it’s a phase. I don’t choose whether I’ll play a solo lead or fit into an ensemble cast film. My next film is a solo lead that I’m doing but I chose a good story over a solo lead character. I didn’t choose Shor In The City because it was an ensemble cast but because it had a strong storyline. Whether it does well or not isn’t in my hands. But what I strive for is important and we will keep on doing that. Even I am trying to understand the tastes of audiences and then choosing my scripts. It’s vital in today’s time.
“If there are any stereotypes about Tusshar then Shor In The City will change that”
Tusshar and I get along very well. He is a very good friend. The good thing about Tusshar is that he has never behaved like a producer on the sets. He is thorough in what he does. If there are any stereotypes about Tusshar Kapoor then Shor In The City will change that for sure. He has done a phenomenal job in this film. He is very sincere. I have never seen him come late on the sets, not even a day. He is the first one to arrive and that speaks volumes about him as a professional actor.
“My duty towards work comes first”
Cinema is passion, it’s my work. There is a part of my life that I have to balance out. In my wife I’ve found a person who is extremely supportive, who encourages me to do good work. Cinema is a part of my life and so is my wife. My personal and family life has always been very important to me. That will be the number one priority. Having said that, my duty towards work comes first.
“My wife grew up on films that Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman had perfected in 1990s”
My body of work is still limited. My wife grew up on films that the three Khans – Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman had perfected in the 90s (laughs). Her favourite film is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and I am doing everything but that (laughs).
“Pitobash enhances every scene in the film and he is hell bent on staying here for good”
Pitobash is a very interesting actor. I’ve always said that it is the choice of these very rare and interesting talents that’ll make the entire film appealing. I’ve always been fortunate to be working with some great actor’s right from my first film. Pitobash enhances every scene in the film and he is hell bent on staying here for good.
“Films have always worked on the word of mouth”
The context hasn’t changed much. Film reviews have always been looked upon as a mere opinion from the critics. Films have always worked on the word of mouth. And in the day and age of Twitter and Facebook, do you really think anyone’s bothered about the stars or ratings? Yes, it is the job of critics to spread the good word out if they like it or don’t. That’s subjective. At the moment, there is a lot of Shor about Shor and that sounds good.