Rahul Bose gives competition to Shabana

There's no doubt that "Mr & Mrs Iyer" is the most influential film Rahul Bose has ever done. The actor recently returned from a "socially-driven" trip to Britain and the US, lecturing on communalism at Oxford, and on child abuse and battered women for an organisation called SNEHA at Connecticut. Another Shabana Azmi?

"Almost... It's been a sobering experience," Rahul says. He can't stop marvelling at how deep an impression Aparna Sen's film has made among Indians abroad. But five years ago, Dev Benegal's futuristic "Split Wide Open", about a water famine in Mumbai now being done by Shekhar Kapur in "Paani", also ranks very high in terms of social comment.

Rahul agrees. "It should've made as big an impact as 'Mr & Mrs Iyer'. But Dev's film came may be two years ahead of its time, when multiplexes were still not a concrete reality."

Rahul chuckles how "Split Wide Open" had been released as a kind of porno flick by some anxious distributors.