Actor Harshvardhan Kapoor isn't fazed by back-to-back failures at the box office and says he is happy with the fact that he walked the path less travelled.
At least, he can sleep in peace with that fact.
"My ambition has always been to do films I would personally like to watch… MIRZYA attempted to do something new with the Indian romantic musical, while BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO… to a certain extent it did manage to be an important moment in the Indian superhero genre," Harshvardhan, the son of actor-producer Anil Kapoor, told IANS in an email interview.
"Now, had these films sold more tickets it would have been better for everyone but I can sleep well knowing that I followed through with my conviction and took the chance and did the stuff that I believed in… and have two unique works of art, be it flawed, to look back on," he added.
Harshvardhan made his Bollywood debut with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's 2016 film MIRZYA, and picked BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO as his second project.
He got a perfect launch pad, and the movies were appreciated for their handling of somewhat unique subjects. But box office success evaded him.
The actor feels it is "important to widen your fan base and have more people watch your work".
"My films were not very commercial in nature per se. They didn't reach out to a wider audience. And I want to reach those people, but in my own way (by) doing the stuff that I want to do… and in time that will happen."
BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO, in which Harshvardhan essays the role of a common man who takes the responsibility of tackling socio-political issues, is getting a great response after making its way to Netflix.
"The response has been overwhelming. I knew when the film didn't reach out theatrically that digital could potentially work well, because, even when it came out, the few people who saw it had some really positive things to say.
"But I didn't expect this kind of buzz and positivity. I kind of feel that the film released on August 16 when it dropped on digital and not on June 1."
Breaking down the reason behind the failure of BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO, Harshvardhan said: "I think it is definitely a film that was visually conceptualised for the big screen.
"Having said that, I personally feel we did leave really good parts of the film on the editing table due to pace and length issues. Maybe a six 30-minute-episode outlay would've been nice. Also, it would have been amazingly received straight away and become what we wanted it to — and could have had sequels. I think theatrically we failed with the marketing aspect."
But he has no regrets.
"I'm happy knowing we at least tried to reach out theatrically. My whole trip as an actor is to try to give our audiences new, innovative material so I can sleep well at night knowing we tried."
Harshvardhan will next be seen in the biopic of Olympic Gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.
"It will start shortly. We are still working on the Hindi dialogue draft and the script," he said, adding that the prep will include "lots of shooting practice".
"Lot of time spent with Abhinav, many script-readings, look-test, character-building workshops and reading sessions with co-actors."
By Sugandha Rawal