It is an understatement that mainstream Hindi cinema is eating up the market for independent content, says actor-filmmaker Rajat Kapoor.
Rajat, who balances his professional life by working in Bollywood films as well as independent cinema, also pointed out that the problem is spread across the world and not merely limited to India.
Asked if Bollywood is biting into the space for independent cinema, Rajat told IANS over phone from Mumbai: “Eating up is an understatement. Mainstream cinema is the only thing we watch in the country – like it or not.”
Rajat, whose latest release is a crowd-funded film titled “Mantra”, added: “And again (it is) not only in this country but world over. I was talking to somebody and saying that a film like a stupid superhero film will make 600 billion dollars while a (Martin) Scorsese film like ‘Silence’ has hardly been released anywhere in the world.”
The actor-filmmaker, who is as active in the theatre world as in filmdom, asserts what people want to watch will always be popcorn entertainment.
“So it is not an Indian problem. It is world over… Like Bollywood has taken over independent cinema, Hollywood has taken over all the cinemas of the world. Even European art cinema is dying because Hollywood has just completely taken over every screen space.”
Born and brought up in Delhi, Rajat started his career in theatre and slowly moved in to cinema. He began his acting with the film “Khayal Gatha” in 1989, followed by his first 26-minute documentary “Tarana”, which he directed.
His acting projects, both mainstream and non-commercial, have found appreciation – especially his performances in “Phas Gaye Re Obama”, “Bheja Fry”, “Monsoon Wedding”, “Dil Chahta Hai” and “Kapoor & Sons”.
He has been earning plaudits for his work as a director too. In 2003, Rajat made a film named “Raghu Romeo”, which bagged a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Kapoor’s 2013 directorial “Ankhon Dekhi”, a quirky drama about a character named Raje Bauji, played by Sanjay Mishra, was highly appreciated. His other directorial ventures, including “Mithya” and “Mixed Doubles”, got critical acclaim too.
Rajat, who was also seen in FilterCopy’s video titled “If parents behaved like us”, produced by Pocket Aces, is happy that “internet has brought some kind of accessibility to things”. But also feels it is a tricky zone to tread on.