"The President... is very reality TV in format" - Kunaal Roy Kapur


By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

After a brief delay, The President... is finally 'coming' this Friday. No wonder, director Kunaal Roy Kapur is happy that his debut film is finally making it to the theaters. Though he has experienced success with The President Is Coming, courtesy its successful run as a play, he understands that it is a different ballgame altogether when it comes to a cinematic adaptation. Still, he insists that for the audience that is fed reality television day in and night out, the narrative of The President Is Coming would be quite relatable.

"My film is pretty much reality TV in format and this is why audience would be able to easily relate to the narration style. In any case there are so many reality shows that are in our face and hence the style doesn't need much introduction. Hence, it was a conscious decision to retain this style", says Kunaal Roy Kapur who has also retained most of the cast from the play in his film.

But doesn't he feel that even in reality TV, there are quite a few happenings that are obviously staged? "Pretty much so", he is quick to react, "In fact if you ask me, there is nothing reality about reality TV. Everything seems to be simply staged. It's a style that is cluttering our TV because seemingly there is no other way of entertainment. Looking at the ongoing trend, at least our entire team has tried to be honest to the art."

"Hopefully, in spite of the bizarre theme of the film (that of the President of USA looking at shaking a hand with an Indian during his visit to the country), audiences would be able to involve themselves into the narrative style", he laughs.

The story has earlier been told as a stage play and moreover is mostly in English. Doesn't he feel like loosing out on a substantial audience due to these factors?

"What you term as limitations are in fact the strengths of The President Is Coming," asserts Kunaal, "In any case we have targeted a niche audience for the film. As for those who already know the plot then well, the theater audience is anyways a very small percentage of Indian audiences."

He concludes by stating, "All said and done, I firmly believe that if the quality of your product is good enough, it would appeal to people. In case of my film, I am sure it would because the story is funny and would strike a chord with the young urban people. If that happens, it should be good enough for the movie as well as me as a storyteller!"