Kaminey is a good success, both critically as well as commercially, and now all of a sudden Shahid Kapoor finds himself in the super big league. While the Khans (Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman) have been dominating from the top along with Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan, the success of Kaminey means that both Shahid Kapoor as well as Saif Ali Khan (who again delivered a huge money spinner in Love Aaj Kal) are already making actors in the Top-5 uncomfortable. As this Vishal Bhardwaj film continues to fetch audiences and reactions for itself in it’s second week, Joginder Tuteja catches up with Shahid Kapoor who feels that the biggest success point for Kaminey is the fact that massy as well as niche audiences have given a Thumbs Up to a subject and a genre that has been hitherto unexplored.
For a film like Kaminey, even you would have expected mixed and extreme reviews, right? So weren’t you surprised when you saw universally superb reviews coming the film’s way?
Personally speaking, over and above the fact that the reviews have been very positive, what worked for me most was that Kaminey was a very well made film. Also, it was a difficult role that I had done which further makes the success sweeter. Now that people have liked the movie and appreciated me tremendously, something which is being reflected at the box office as well, the success thing has hit me hard. The film was a big risk in all ways.
Why do you say so?
It was a big risk to be going ahead with such a wide release for a film. Normally, a film belonging to such subject and genre would arrive at around 500-600 prints. However, we went all out with Kaminey and released it on 1300-1400 screens. My last film, Kismat Konnection, had come on 950 odd screens and that was my most wide spread release. So yes, in all ways it has been a great outing with Kaminey.
A project like this was always meant to be risky. So what do you think still worked in the film’s favour that it got such wide spread appreciation.
The very fact that it was out of the box. In fact from the success of Kaminey, we can learn something. See, just a couple of years back we had Omkara. Till today we talk about it and it saw such huge critical acclaim coming its way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big success commercially. Now two years down the line, we saw Kaminey which is something that’s again different and out of the box. So what has really changes is the audiences’ perspective in the time period gone by. Today they have opened up and are far more forthcoming and receptive to such cinema.
Today audiences have opened up and are far more forthcoming and receptive to such cinema
Can you please elaborate?
See, they would rather see something different like this than run of the mill stuff. This is a learning for me too and a pleasant experience for sure. We can now see that even ‘aam junta’ is ready for such stuff and not just niche audience. It’s no more just an intelligent and intellectual audience that is interested in such treatment; we are steadily finding universal acceptance. Frankly, while we were making the movie, we realized that it was a difficult movie to be pushed and get the audiences. Thankfully, things fell in place and we succeeded.
Coming to your performance in Kaminey, one thing is for sure that you would be nominated for Kaminey when the best of the best are announced for year 2009. Now the question is whether it would be for the best actor in the main lead or the best actor in a negative lead? Personally whom would you want the award to go – Guddu or Charlie?
[Laughs] Now I am all for this compliment! On a serious note though, I guess if at all I am nominated, both the actors would fall under just plain and simple ‘Best Actor’ category. After all it was a double role that I played and it should be looked in the perspective of both the actors being put together; you can’t have them split. The film would be incomplete without Guddu or Charlie. [Smiles] In fact I remember that when Priyanka (Chopra) was being asked the same question, she said that she wanted the best of both worlds by having someone who had the heart of Guddu and looks of Charlie. Jokes apart, no point speculating about awards because honestly I don’t like thinking about tomorrow.
I guess if at all I am nominated, both the actors would fall under just plain and simple ‘Best Actor’ category
You are being diplomatic…
No, I am not. See, there are so many huge stars and established actors today. The very fact that people consider this performance of mine to be carrying good potential to win an award is rewarding enough.
Barely has the euphoria for Kaminey settled down that you are all over again with Dil Bole Hadippa. And then there is Chance Pe Dance round the corner too. Isn’t it too much happening all on one go?
[Smiles] Ask me! And you forgot the Parmeet Sethi film with Anushka (Sharma) for which I am currently shooting for. Believe me, these are some insanely busy times. At the moment, I can’t get over with all the reactions that are still coming in for Kaminey. Within a month from now, Dil Bole Hadippa will release (18th September) and I am gearing up for that. A day after the film’s release, I leave for USA. Then soon after I would be back to promote Ken’s Chance Pe Dance. Honestly speaking, it’s all so crazy. I don’t really have time to breath though honestly, it’s a happy problem to be a part of!