Rahul Bose - going from strength to strength

Rahul BoseThough his talent has been applauded by critics and masses alike, Rahul Bose's presence has always been underplayed by the film industry. One wonders why? One also wonders whether it will take a foreign hand to make Bollywood notice its own asset.

Santosh Sivan's BEFORE THE RAINS, starring Rahul Bose was screened in Hollywood recently.

New York Times film reviewer Stephen Holden was all praise for the film. He also wrote about TK, the name of Rahul Bose's character in the film and said "The movie's most compelling figure is the unfailingly loyal TK, who is instructed to violate native customs in a desperate cover-up. A stoic, taciturn man who loves his boss too much, he is a lost soul who has foolishly imagined he could keep one foot in the tribal world and the other in the modern."

New York Times Review is the most prestigious review and the most important ever. And Rahul seems to be the chosen one to be raved about. Not just New York Times but Rahul has received rave reviews by almost every other foreign publication including Venice magazine and a glowing spectacular review by the guru Deepak Chopra himself. Says Deepak Chopra, "Best of all is the man caught in the middle, T.K., the sahib's trusted foreman who must choose between the two worlds he can no longer inhabit. Rahul Bose sees more and says less than anyone else in the cast, yet his intensely moving performance is the linchpin of the entire story. It is T.K. who is trapped in the same dilemma as Fielding, the hero of A PASSAGE TO INDIA

Santosh Sivan the director of the film also cannot stop talking about Rahul. In fact, he says he will be working with the actor in every film of his henceforth after BEFORE THE RAINS. Although they are both huge in India, Sivan and Bose had previously never met or worked together: "He comes from the south of India; I am from Mumbai," says Bose. "Our paths have never crossed. When this film came about, he approached me to do this and I think it was on the strength of a couple of other pieces of work of mine that he had seen. My character, T.K., is a South Indian villager. And I am as urban as they get, and as Westernized Indian as you get. So this was a huge leap for him to believe that I could pull it off."

Rahul almost refused the role first because they wanted him to audition. "The producers wanted me to audition," he recalls. "And I said, 'I don't do auditions.
I have never done them and I never will do them'. So I refused the role."

It was left to Rahul's ever persistent manager in Hollywood who finally managed the impossible. Says Bose, "Then my manager pleaded with me. One day before shooting, I got the cinematographer of the movie I was working on to put me on tape. They felt T.K. should be played by a younger actor. So I know that they must have looked at about 50 actors. Then they saw my work. And the rest," he smiles, "is sordid history."

Famous last words? Well, these seem to be holding true in Rahul's case as the actor is garnering accolades galore for BEFORE THE RAINS. After a much appreciated MR AND MRS IYER and CHAMELI, followed by a commercially viable and critically lauded PYAR KE SIDE EFFECTS and SHAURYA, Rahul seems to be going from strength to strength.

And with BEFORE THE RAINS, it seems to be raining bouquets for him, after every screening.