Rajeev Khandelwal made a remarkable debut in director Raj Kumar Gupta's first film, Aamir, lauded by critics and audience alike. What followed thereafter was an indifferent luck with his next couple of films barring Shaitan. But the actor is back with what looks like an author-backed role with Samrat & Co.
Rajeev Khandelwal's next suspense thriller Samrat & Co hits theatres on April 25.
Written and directed by Kaushik Ghatak, Smarat & Co features Rajeev Khandelwal (Samrat Tilakdhari) as a private investigator while Gopal Datt plays his close aid and friend Chakradhari Pandey.
In a conversation with Hindustan Times, the actor alongwith with his co-star Madalsa Sharma, talks about his next release, Samrat & Co and whether or not it is Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock rip-off.
Many believe your film is a Sherlock rip-off starring Benedict Cumberbatch. What do you say?
Rajeev: Yeah, a lot of people think so and they are not wrong. My character was born from the same germ as Sherlock, only we draw inspiration from the legendary Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes happens to be the archetype of a true-blue detective. My character will be similar to Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch, Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand… everyone.
People are trying to be desi Sherlock Holmes. With two minutes of a trailer, they want to rip it off the film - his hair is curly, he is aping Benedict...
Tell us about your (Rajeev and Madalsa) roles.
Rajeev: I think I have talked enough about Samrat. All I'd to say is Samrat is a detective. And for the rest, you should discover the mysteries of the character in theatres.
Madalsa: I play Dimpy, a romantic teenager who has problems that appear mysterious and Samrat helps her solve them.
Has there been an overdose of thrillers in your career?
Rajeev: Not at all. Every film is different with different setup. I thought if you are not doing a masala/rom-com/comedy, suspense is what keeps the audience glued. I love being part of thrillers and don't want to do predictable films. For me, fun is when you deliver unexpected content.
So, will we never see you in a rom-com, masala or comedy?
Rajeev: If you mean that you will see me in no-brainers, you are wrong. I don't think I am talented enough to pull off a movie without a script, though I really respect actors who can do that. May be when I feel I have the capability to do that, I may want to try masala films.
From your TV days to films, how has the fan-base changed?
Rajeev: Thankfully, my characters are still remembered. The fan-base has only expanded but the romantic image remains. And now people who like content-driven films have joined my fan-base.
Madalsa, what would you want to say about his romantic image?
Madalsa: I always looked up to him. It was sensational and it carries on, the romantic image.