Two films can't bring change, 20 can: Rahul Bose

By Dibyojyoti Baksi

Mumbai, April 29 (IANS) Actor Rahul Bose, known for his meaningful cinema as well as social activism, believes a handful of films cannot bring change in society. For that, there should a collective effort by filmmakers and government bodies to educate the masses.

"Change only happens with people who are ready to change, and the masses are not ready as yet. Changes happen at the outer boundaries, at the most at the wisest edge of the spectrum of people. You have to first look at them, then the next levels," the 43-year-old told IANS.

"Two films can't make the change. It has to be 20 films. Government has to step in and do lots of direct advertising. There should be public education; there should be education at the younger level. There should be other artistic ways like dance and theatre to spread the same message. The message has to come from seven-eight directions," said Rahul who features in "I AM" releasing Friday.

Director Onir's film "I AM" takes up the issue of discrimination against gays, women and other sections of society.

"The idea is to say any kind of discrimination is bad. If somebody walks away out of the film understanding that it's unfair to judge people by the colour of their skin, religion or sexual orientation, or their caste, then I would think the film has done its job," said Rahul who directed in 2001 "Everybody Says I'm Fine!", which won for him the John Schlesinger Honorable Mention Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

In the same breath, Rahul, however, says government should do the bigger job of taking such message to the masses.

"Take that to the masses. And that's for another film, for government to do... It doesn't have to be a small art-house film like 'I AM' to take unfair responsibility," he said.

Since his impressive debut as Agastya Sen in "English, August" in 1994, Rahul has done many meaningful roles - "Mr. and Mrs. Iyer", "Jhankar Beats", "Chameili", "Tahaan" and "Anuranan".

Despite the long innings and impressive body of work, he maintains he doesn't take films as a career.

"I don't have a career, I have films. People think of their career. I never think of the next film or whether I want to do it in terms of role, director, story or in terms of what I can bring to it. A career just happens. How much can you calculate it as an actor? Someone has to call you and cast you," said Rahul who is also a rugby player.

Why does he stick to art house cinema?

"If I go back to commercial films, it would be only to take part in certain films which I haven't done before like 'Lethal Weapon' where I may be Danny Glover to somebody like Mel Gibson or an action film or can team up with a superstar and do something.

"I can't carry the budget of a mainstream film; so I will always be part of the supporting cast, which I am quite willing to do if the role is great," he said.

(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at dibyojyoti.b@ians.in)

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