Rajat Kapoor, who acts in the film, Kora Kagazz, directed by Nawneet Ranjan, speaks to The Sunday Guardian.
Rajat Kapoor, whose last outing was RK/RKay which he also directed, is back on the big screen with Kora Kagazz. Kapoor feels that filmmakers who are starting out are full of passion and all they need is a little support. “I know the struggle of a first time filmmaker and I know the passion that they bring to a project. Because for Nawneet, for example, this is it; nothing else exists. It’s where all his energy and passion is going. And I feed off that energy. It’s very good for me to be a part of such projects. Whatever the film maybe at the end but to be a part of such a passion project is very important for me,” explains Kapoor who has a series of projects lined up across different formats and mediums.
Kora Kagazz is a Hindi-language film that revolves around three lost souls – a juvenile home warden (portrayed by Swastika Mukherjee), an actor struggling (essayed by Rajat Kapoor) to create art, and a 14-year-old girl with a dark past – who find a home away from home. The film is directed by a first-time filmmaker named Nawneet Ranjan who has previously made several shorts films and documentaries. He takes keen interest in telling inspiring human stories. He won the Google Rise Award in 2017 for his work.
For Kapoor, the actor and the storyteller coexist but his first love is making movies. “I like see myself primarily as a director and the mediums I know are absolutely different. When you are directing it’s really a full time involvement. With acting you can switch off / switch on,” explains Kapoor. He further adds, “When you want to make a film there are two ways of going about it. You can say, ‘Ok, I like the story or I like this book, so let, me adapt it.’ But there is another way and my way. There in an idea which starts troubling you and it troubles you for years. So, you know, it’s a valid quest. It’s not to be dismissed. It’s itching inside to come out. Then you have to deal with it, address it. It’s really a process.”
In recent years, the OTT revolution has reshaped the global content scene. As an actor, Rajat Kapoor is quite open to working across mediums and formats. However, Kapoor as a storyteller is still heavily invested in making feature length films. “Well, frankly, as an actor I see no difference in that regard. But, as a storyteller, I think the choices are very different. It’s like a short story writer and a novelist. Now, my mind is really limited to this 90 – 100 minute format. I am not able to think in 300 minutes. What am I going to tell in 300 minutes? For me story finishes in 95 minutes. But the beauty lies if you have a mind like Dostoevsky or Tolstoy or the story requires that kind of telling,” opines Kapoor whose greatest influences include Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Federico Fellini, Ritwik Ghatak, Mani Kaul, and Kumar Shahani, among others.
For Nawneet and team, having a seasoned multi-faceted artist Kapoor as part of the film has been nothing less than a blessing. “We sent him the script and fortunately he liked it and came on board. And he really brought a lot of soul working with a lot of first time actors. Thanks to his presence there is an organic flow of energy in the manner how scenes are played,” rejoices Nawneet.