'Striker' should bring carrom back in vogue

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) There was a time when children and adults alike enjoyed a game of carrom, but videogames seem to have taken over now. Actor Siddharth hopes his film "Striker" will bring back the lost popularity of carrom.

"Striker is not a sports film, but I am sure it will bring back carrom in vogue. Although it is still quite alive... we have Asian champions and many great players of the game in India...it will definitely get a boost in popularity with the film," Siddarth told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"It's kind of a biographical film on Suryakant...however that's not the only angle. It's an amalgamation of many stories in the slums of Mumbai. It is based in the 1980s when carrom used to be very popular and a rage in these small bylanes. It's about how this character is faced with many choices in life - good and bad - and what he chooses," said the south Indian actor, who earned rave reviews for his role in "Rang De Basanti".

Siddharth says he worked really hard to get into the skin of the character.

"I spent a lot of time in Mumbai slums, speaking to people there. I also underwent two months' training in carrom, not only to become a pro in the game and learn the tricks but also to learn the body language and gauge what goes on in the mind of the player," he said.

Not signing a Bollywood film right after "Rang De Basanti", Siddharth said, was a conscious decision.

"I want to do films with which I can make an identity. It's not that I shied away from Bollywood. It's just that I am selective about the films I do. Even in Telugu, I have done just nine films in nine years. I didn't want to be part of a bad film. I have a strong track record and I wanted to maintain that by doing good films even in Hindi cinema," he said.

Acting skills apart, Siddharth is a good playback singer too and has sung two songs in "Striker".

"I am a trained singer and my songs in the film are an extension of my character. I have sung a few songs in my films down south as well. The film has a unique soundtrack with six composers coming together for the first time for a film," he added.

Dirceted by Chandan Arora, "Striker" also starred Vidya Malvade. And Siddarth says he has found his "filmmaking soulmate" in Chandan.

"Chandan is my filmmaking soulmate. In the industry it is not always easy to find people who think like you. Mine and Chandan's visions meet and thus we had a great time filming the film. We are planning a couple of films more," he said.

While he will continue working for regional films, Siddharth will now concentrate a little more on Hindi movies as well.

"Apart from "Striker" I am finishing some work in Telugu; then I will focus on Bollywood. But this time there won't be a gap of four years," the actor said.