Pankaj Tripathi is on a roll. The actor is finally getting his due in the Hindi film industry. It’s not just on-screen even off-screen, one cannot get enough of the Stree actor. His interviews are unlike any other Bollywood celebrity’s. In fact, it’s not just the audience even Ranveer Singh who was on an actor’s roundtable with the Newton star wished to spend more time just listening to Mr Tripathi. I was fortunate to catch up with the actor, who recently returned from Sacred Games shoot in South Africa. And he left me mesmerised with his simplicity and clarity of thought. He is not politically correct, but simply correct in the way he expresses himself. The actor during the course of our conversation mentioned Vicky Kaushal’s Uri.
Pankaj said, “Kahaniya badal rahi hai. Aur audience Ko bhi interest nahi hai kaun kiska bachcha hai ya kisne launch kiya. Ek achchi kahani unhe milti hai jaise Uri maine dekhi. Uri achcha perform kar rahi hai. Aur Uri ki puri team nayi hai. Aditya ya Dipti ya DOP toh sab young talent hai aur unhone badi khoobsurat film banayi.”
(Translation: The stories in Bollywood are changing and the audience also is no longer interested in who is whose child or who is launching whom. They need a good story, like they got to see in Uri. Uri is performing well and the entire team in Uri is new. Be it Aditya (Dhar) or then Dipti or the DOP, everyone is young and talented and they’ve put together a beautiful movie.)
On hearing the actor go gaga about Uri, I asked him about the debate around this action drama being a propaganda film. Pankaj Tripathi was clueless about Anurag Kashyap’s Twitter battle, but he did have an opinion on it. He said, “Maine Kashyap ko yeh kehte hue suna nahi hun Uri ke baare mein. Par mein iss baat sey puri tarah sey sehmat hun ke Uri sach mein ek well-made film hai.Sound, cinematography, performance ka flow. Toh usme technically koi khami nahi hai. Bohot hee well-made film hai aur ek bohot hi mehenat aur passion sey bani hui film hai. Toh usme koi do raai nahi hai.”
(Translation: I haven’t heard Kashyap’s opinion about Uri, but I completely agree with him that Uri is a well-made film – sound, cinematography, performance flow. There are no technical shortcomings. It’s a well-made film and a movie made with a lot of hard work and passion, there’s no debating that.)
He continued, “Dekho political vichardhara toh har filmmaker ki hoti hai aur ho sakta hai, ke woh reflect bhi kare uske kaam mein aur karna bhi chahiye aapka political orientation. Democracy ka matlab hee hai ke hum asehmat sey bhi sehmat hai. Ke disagreement ka bhi agreement hona chahiye. Yeh lokshahi hai. aur vipaksh hamesha sey vipaksh rehta hee hai. Ab jo power mein hai woh pehle vipaksh mein thay. Toh democracy ki khoobsurati hai. Uri mein hoga unka political orientation kuch bhi lekin woh film sach mein well-made film hai. Ispe bilkul inkaar nahi kar sakte, aur same time cinema ke saare element usme bohot hee behter form mein hai.”
(Translation: Every filmmaker has a political inclination and maybe that reflects in their work, in fact, it should reflect. In a democracy, one should agree to disagree. There should be agreement even in the disagreement. It’s a people’s government and there is an opposition party. In fact, those who are in the ruling party were once in the opposition. That’s the beauty of a democracy. In Uri too there could be their political orientation, but there’s no denying that as a movie it is a well-made one. The movie had all the elements of a good film.)
Pankaj Tripathi refused to comment on Anupam Kher’s Accidental Prime Minister because he hadn’t watched it. The actor, however, continued to defend Dhar’s Uri, “Propaganda film ho ke general film ho, jab release ho rahi hai, screen mein lag rahi hai, agar unko zyadaa logo ne dekha aur hit kiya toh chahe woh propoganda film ho uske bawajood hai log usko pasand kar rahe hai. “
(Translation: Whether it is a propaganda film or otherwise, if people like it they will watch it on the big screen and make it a hit. People will like a good movie despite it being a propaganda film.)
Well, looks like Vicky has got the entire industry backing his latest solo release and the box office figures too are promising.