By Joginder Tuteja
Mumbai, Aug 7 (IANS) Actor Anupam Kher could have opted for a conventional subject and a known star cast for the first film of his new production house. But he chose to make "Teree Sang", a film on teen pregnancy starring newcomers, as he didn't wish to play safe.
"I have loved wearing different hats at different times and have actually never played safe. You have to try and take risks in your life. I guess only mediocre people play safe. By saying that I am not implying that I am great or something, but then what's the point in doing something which everyone else is also doing?" Anupam told IANS in an interview.
Released Friday, "Teree Sang" has been produced by Kher's Karol Bagh Film and Entertainment. It is directed by Satish Kaushik, also the co-producer of the movie that stars Ruslaan Mumtaz and Sheena Shahabadi.
"All through my career I have broken quite a few myths," said Anupam.
"I played a man way past his prime in my very first major film ('Saaransh') when in reality I was still in my 20s. A few years down the line I played a gay character called Pinkoo in 'Mast Kalandar' (1991) when even the word 'gay' was not known as it is today."
A veteran of close to 300 films, he has played varied roles in his 25-year-long career. In 2002, he forayed into direction with "Om Jai Jagadish" and also produced critically acclaimed films like "Bariwali" (1999) and "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara" (2005). He has also been quite active in the theatre circuit.
His "Teree Sang" has come at a time when another film, "Love Aaj Kal", has just completed a one-week run in theatres and is looking quite positive in its second week too. There is competition from Ram Gopal Varma's "Agyaat" too while next week looks tough due to "Kaminey" and "Life Partner".
Isn't he worried?
"What's the point in getting worried? It only slows you down. I am confident about the film I have made and have promoted it well for the consumption of the audience.
"You can't stop multiple films from releasing in the same week or around you. After the strike, there would be such a scenario till the year end; so there is no point running away from it. We are giving a selective release to the film and it belongs to the kind that would grow as audiences start spreading the word," said Anupam.
His earlier films "Khosla Ka Ghosla" and "A Wednesday" came without any fanfare, saw a select release, grew due to word of mouth publicity and, ultimately, each made a name as a cult film.
"Well, there are certain kinds of films that should follow such model and 'Teree Sang' is one such film. With newcomers you have to be particular about how you are presenting the film to the audiences. Films like 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' and 'A Wednesday' worked despite a small release and massive competition because they boasted of great content and treatment."
"Same is the case with 'Teree Sang' where we have brought out the topic of teen pregnancy but presented it in an entertaining manner rather than giving any sermons. The young actors have been excellent while Satish Kaushik has surpassed his earlier work.
"Now it's the time for audiences to announce their verdict," he said.
(Joginder Tuteja can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)