Chintuji (more photos, videos)
Rishi Kapoor, the name of the film and your nickname are similar; please tell us more about Chintu Ji?
I am only an actor by this name and not a politician. The name of the film is called Chintu Ji and the high point being that in real life I am Chintu Ji or Rishi Kapoor and I have worked in a film by this name. This film has some elements of truth in it while rest is pure fiction. The fact being that I am Rishi Kapoor in real life and I am not a brat or a bad person in real life. So keeping these things in mind the plot has been weaved around this and when Ranjeet Ji, the director of the film narrated the plot of the film to me for the first time, I got very excited as the first demand of the film was Rishi Kapoor. The film does not demand for a young actor, it demands for my presence. The film has references that pertain to Raj Kapoor, my mother, my wife, my films like Chandni, Mera Naam Joker and others. The film incorporates all these elements, so it was imperative for me to act in this film. I really felt very happy when the plot was narrated to me and that I was supposed to enact myself in this film and also another facet, which is not like me. How have I acted in this film, is for the audiences to decide but I really feel very happy that I portrayed this role and that′s only because not many actors have got opportunity to play such a role in their career.
Does the plot of the film have any similarity with your real life?
The plot of the film is very arresting. The plot of the film talks about a fading star whose career is almost over and that′s only because age is not on his side and he is gone old. In the later part of his career he is interested in becoming a politician. He wants to become a politician not because he is interested in serving the society but he has his own scrupulous reasons. He wants to enter politics with the sole aim of making money. But apart from this the film also addresses a very valid issue and it pertains to the betterment of our small town and villages. If these small towns and villages are equipped with all the necessary facilities be it electricity or water supply or employment then no youth from those villages or town will make a move to big cities to look for employment or greener pastures or to make money. It′s the fictional story of a small town, though in the film I am shown as someone who is born and brought up in a city like Mumbai. It talks about a small town with utopian qualities where everything is perfect - the residents are honest to the core, they don′t even lock their houses. They are well aware of the fact that there is no thief in their town. Some 20 kilometers away from that utopian town is another town where liquor is sold freely and robbery is the norm of the day. For others, that town is important because of these things. How does Rishi Kapoor lands in that village and tries to change everything is the central core of the film.
You are a part of the film industry for almost four decades, what actually drives you to keep working?
If this film had not been there, I would not have been talking to you. This excitement and passion has been there in me for the past 40 years. I have been working for the past 40 years and I can say this proudly that I today too I work with the same enthusiasm and passion for my films. Though age is not on my side but my passion is still intact. I am part of this film industry only because I am passionate about it.
Though the film is scheduled to release this week but the promotion of the film is hardly visible, why is it so?
There is no point in promoting a film on the contrary people should go and see a film and then judge our work. But yes, I agree that times have changed. Chintu Ji has got no star power or star value in it so it needs to be promoted in a big way. There are neither young actors nor any superstar in this film. I feel very blessed and privileged that Ranjeet Saab and Bobby Bedi opted me for this film despite the fact that I am not a saleable actor today. Hats off to such a director who chooses such a plot and an actor like me in this era for his debut film. Everything stems from the fact that they both were convinced completely about the plot of the film, which demanded a person of my age and me for the film. So the natural corollary being that it′s important to back this film from all the sides. My only complaint is that the film is not being promoted in the right way and that′s only because they have started think art as some business proposition. And that′s true also. If you are investing money in something then you will also think about the profit factor. But people will earn profit only when others are aware of the fact that such a thing is available in the market. They ought to educate people that such a thing is available in the market, please come and have a look at it. I fully agree that it′s a very small budgeted film and it′s always the big budgeted film, which is promoted in a big manner. But I think that its sheer irresponsibility on part of the producers so as not to promote the film. I am pretty sure that that most of the people would not even know this that the film is releasing on 4th September.
Has the advent of multiplex culture affected the fate of such small budget films in any way?
It′s possible that what you are saying is true. The ticket rates of the multiplexes are generally very high and it′s always people from middle class or higher middle class who are able to afford the ticket rates. The sensibility, which these classes have, is quite different from the old sensibility. They are interested in seeing something new and in this regard hatke is a very wrong usage. I would rather say that they ought to be entertained in a different way. It′s almost like presenting a freshly painted picture to the masses. Whenever films like Khosla Ka Ghosla, A Wednesday or Welcome to Sajjanpur have hit the theatres they managed to strike the right chord. They all were small budgeted films, which managed to create a very big impact among the cine goers. Its same as people buying different type of clothes from the market be it nylon, cotton, silk etc as per their budget. The same pattern can be applied for such films too - we have small budget films and we also have big budget film but the important thing being that the ticket rates for all the films is same only. Our race is with the big budget films, though our film is small budgeted but I am very sure that it will create a very big impact. In our era, we made films based on the image of heroes and heroines. We had action heroes, religious heroes, romantic heroes and several other brackets but in the present era content and the plot of the film has become the king. Even if you were to rope in a superstar for your film, which has got no story, the end result will always be a zero. You just can′t do anything.
I think you hold the distinction of working with many newcomers in past, this time too you are working with a debutante heroine?
Well in this film too I am working with a new heroine though I don′t have any romantic angle with the actress. The lead actress of the film is Kulraj Randhawa who has just given a super hit Punjabi film. She is basically a TV actress but is acting in a film for the first time. The other actress of the film is Sophie Chaudhary and though the length of her role is short but it′s a very interesting character nonetheless.
Do you enjoy working with newcomers?
If I were not to enjoy with these actress then how will I do my work. I won′t make mincemeat of myself. It′s the norm of the industry that new people are required every time. They bring with themselves new thoughts and new style. But again the catch being that they should not be so new that the audience just fails to understand them.
Love Aaj Kal was appreciated by one and all; do you have any plan of doing experimental cinema?
People deciphered Love Aaj Kal and that′s why that film was appreciated and loved by all. I personally feel that films are basically medium of entertainment and people pay money to get them entertained. They don′t come to a cinema hall to enjoy the AC, they go to a cinema hall to relax themselves. If you are interested in making a boring or a realistic film, you are free to do so but you have to show such film free to the audiences through Doordarshan. How can anyone afford to charge money for a film that is inherently boring and dull. You don′t have any rights to charge money for such film. I am a professional actor and it′s my duty to entertain people and being a thorough professional I have been doing this for the past 40 years. It′s the rule of nature that if times change then you also have to change accordingly so that the new generation is able to understand you. Someone had said this ages back, that people who don′t change with time are always left behind. You have to be in tune with the times.
Why is the film called Chintu Ji?
The plot of the film has been dramatized a bit to make it more entertaining. It all pertains to the intelligence of writing that the name of the film is Chintu Ji. This film has Rishi Kapoor in it; it′s got some elements of illusions and some elements of fact. There is some truth in it and there is also fiction and that′s why this is also the most fascinating part of the film.
Lastly do you have any messages for the audience?
I don′t want to say anything to the audience about this film; I have been saying things for the past 40 years.
Thanks a lot.