Ayushmann Khurrana, who has carved a niche for himself courtesy his choice of scripts and offbeat characters, is currently busy with the promotions of his upcoming political thriller ‘Anek’ in which he has joined forces yet again with director Anubhav Sinha after their last project ‘Article 15’.
The actor has put the stories with middle of the road cinematic sensibilities in the mainstream and there’s a conscious choice behind the same, for he believes in “cinema for change”, and for him credibility comes before commercial success.
In a recent conversation, the ‘Anek’ actor spoke about socially relevant stories, the equation of art and rebellion and how he strives for his films to age well.
Historically, art has been hardwired with rebellion; be it Sarojini Naidu, whose poetry was instrumental in India’s freedom struggle, the powerful playwright-writer Saadat Hasan Manto or the more recent satirical painter Banksy. However, Ayushmann views the relationship of art and rebellion through a different lens.
He says, “People romanticise that art is an instrumental factor in rebellion. But, I think we cannot really depend on rebellion and revolution and wait for it to create something great. You can also create something unique without the need of a revolution, that’s what my school of thought is. I think it’s a very destructive mindset where we think that artistes can create when they are in a very destructive mode and I think that is a very pessimistic way of creating art.”
He is a firm believer of the thought that cinema should bring about a change in the society and that star value plays a key role in driving the message of a film. He mentions, “It (star value) widens the reach of a film and if a film has not reached a lot of people then what is the use of a social message?”
“I believe in cinema for change and I also believe that every adult has essential responsibility and if they utilise it properly we can actually make changes at the grassroot level”, he adds.
Talking about his approach for his part in ‘Anek’, he says, “It was more for the physicality and the body language and how calm and composed you are while delivering a dialogue. I also borrowed emotionally from my friend as he is in the army and is currently serving in the northeast.”
In closing, he expresses how he would like to see his filmography 20 years down the line, “if I look back after 10 or 20 years into my filmography, I should rather be proud of the work I did, it should age well. I want my films to age well where the future generations would also be proud.”
“For me credibility comes over commercial success and if you get both then there is nothing like that. But the priority is essentially the credibility of content”, the actor signs off.
–By Akshay Acharya