I don't prefer melodrama: Pankaj Tripathi

Pankaj Tripathi , known for his small but impactful roles, shares his experience of working with Swara Bhaskar for the third time and the Anarkali of Arrah team in a candid interview with Millennium Post.

He is a well known face in Bollywood for his negative roles but off-screen, Pankaj Tripathi is a man whose simplicity can win over many hearts. After an incredible performance as Sultan Qureshi in Gangs of Wasseypur and as Principle Srivastava in Nill Battey Sannata, the National School of Drama trained actor is back with an all new avatar – 'Rangeela' in the new flick Anarkali of Arrah.

What made you do the role of Rangeela in Anarkali of Arrah?
I had two reasons. First, the director of the film Avinash Das is a very good friend of mine. He wanted to start his career as a director and it's his first film, so I went for it. And the second reason is that the film tells the story of a region from where I belong. During my childhood, I have seen many impressive dancers like Anarkali. So, when I heard about the character called 'Rangeela', I could easily relate to his world. While doing this film, it reminded me of the good-old days when I used to watch "launda" dance, which is a famous folk dance of Bihar.

This movie is based on true stories, how are the characters in the films related to real life?
The movie is inspired by true events. An incident similar to the story of 'Anarkali' happened and that became the inspiration behind the whole story but the rest of the movie is fictional. It's a film which revolves around the life of a dancer and her struggles. Actually, such incidents of harassment often happen in the area from where I come and after talking to people, we could relate to them and that is how the characters came to life. The world consists of both good and evil personalities and our film is a story of those people.

How was it doing another film with Swara?
It's our third film together after Nill Battey Sannata and The New Classmate. We have a special kind of tuning. We know each other very well. When two people are working together on a professional level, it becomes very important to understand each other and to give space. We have similar thought process and maybe that's why people find us sharing the screen a lot.

What is the secret behind your success?
I don't like doing anything larger than life. Simplicity is the key behind my success. I don't prefer much melodrama. Perhaps that is my secret.

Do you have any fond memory or incident from Anarkali...?
Actually, you can see me dancing in Anarkali of Arrah. This is my first time and I did not hesitate at all. I took the chance as I really wanted people to know about my dancing skills. (Laughs)

Did you take any dancing lessons for Anarkali...?
Oh no no... I used to dance beforehand when I was in my village. Swara had to take dancing lessons. I can do it without learning. I have rhythm in my body. (Laughs)

Some of the scenes from your film got leaked and it's trending on YouTube.Who do you think is responsible for that?
I don't have any idea about who is responsible for this but it is very disheartening. It should not have happened. Yes, there is a trend nowadays that a film should come to limelight anyhow and if it is a low budget film, then the problem is worse as people think that all these things are being done for petty publicity. This is a wrong perception. I don't know who leaked those scenes – whether it's the work of any crew member or any other person, the only thing that I know is that it's wrong.

Recently, the whole film industry has been talking about nepotism. Does it actually impact the film industry?
This is a very tough question. Be it nepotism or anything, if a person is from a filmy background then he or she gets a platform for obvious reasons. But after you get launched, it is up to you to use your creativity and hard work in the best possible ways in order to sustain in the Bollywood industry. There is a tough competition out there. You can launch a new face but then, it's up to that individual to use the perfect opportunity coming their way. The struggle of sustaining is same for both an outsider and a person with a filmy background. It is quite impossible if you don't have talent. Yes, things become a bit easy if you belong to a family with a strong connection to the industry but it's not just Bollywood that's effected by nepotism, it can be seen in every field including politics and journalism. Giving preference to your relatives is common human tendency. Even I want to make things easy for my daughter but she will taste success only if she is hardworking and talented.

What do you think of the recent work of censor board?
The task of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is to regulate the public exhibition of films. In my opinion, the work of CBFC is to categorize the film and put it in its best suited genre. Basically, it should certify the movies rather than judging it. They are not here to give moral lessons. It's the work of audience to give the review – they can like it, hate it or maybe even ban the movie. If you look at the censor board of US and Europe, you will find them following and performing the job that has been assigned to them, but in India, it seems that CBFC is playing a completely different role. You stick to your job and leave the rest to the audience. They are the ones for whom movies are made and they should be the one who must decide about the profile of the movie. Lately, Bollywood has made many vulgar movies and sex comedies and the audience played their part by rejecting those movies. We cannot fool our audience for a long time, they are quite smart.

Let's talk about your upcoming films
Actually, lots of films are lined up this year. With Bareilly Ki Barfi and Munna Michael, I have 3 films coming in July. Newton is a very special film which got an award in the Berlin Film Festival. Fukrey 2 is coming at the end of the year.I have a different role in every film and I am enjoying my time.
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