Bhojpuri actress Amrapali Dubey, who has been praised for her acting, has been constantly trying to raise the bar for Bhojpuri cinema. She says that Bhojpuri cinema is going through difficult times but the industry has gone through worse and now there is a ray of hope. The only battle is to take the industry to the multiplexes.
As soon as Bhojpuri cinema reaches there, it will be a unique feat because the way single-screen theatres have closed down during the Covid-19 crisis the Bhojpuri industry is facing a deeper crisis.
In an exclusive interview to IANS, Amrapali said, “If we compare Bollywood or cinema of other regional languages, the years of struggle by Bhojpuri cinema have been way more. Our films do not reach the multiplexes. The state governments where South and Marathi films are released have asked for their release in multiplexes. If the state governments in Bihar, UP and Jharkhand come together the Bhojpuri industry will grow. Artistes will come to work and the people associated with the Bhojpuri cinema will also get a fair renumeration.”
Asked about the vulgar, double-meaning film dialogues, Dubey said,”We get a U/A certificate for television. When we can work so hard for television, we can work harder for films meant for multiplexes. Film scene cuts are in favour of the censor board but when one or two of our films face censorship people will not waste money on making such films that undergo cuts and censors.”
She said,”People fluent in Bhojpuri are spread across the country. If this industry grows then it will be a huge boost to the Bhojpuri language. There are many people who speak Bhojpuri but our reach is limited. It will be beneficial if we released our films overseas just like Punjabi or other films. This is what happened with Punjabi films. Today we can see its wider reach.”
The actress said that Bhojpuri cinema is also making out-of-the-box films. We have plenty of stories. Many biopics are in the pipeline. Women-oriented films are also being made. Women have portrayed stellar roles in many films right now. But the main problem is that our films do not cater to multiplex audiences so the storylines are not targeting a certain class of society. If you want a film like “Article 15”, then it should also have an audience catering to its sensibilities. Today Bhojpuri cinema, which solely depends on single-screen theatres, will end when the single-screen theatres are closed down.
Asked about politics, Amrapali said she thinks any responsible citizen should place his country above everything else. If one has a good personality and if people believe that one can bring a change, then they must enter politics. This is a major responsibility and must be fulfilled. There will definitely be coordination between art and politics.
Asked about drugs and suicide, she says that never put anyone under such pressure that one is forced to take such a step. One should be confident that if one can not succeed in cinema then one could do well elsewhere in other professions. One should always think that they can make their parents proud if they shun drugs and do not indulge in such diabolic acts. Today there are many social workers and various kinds of therapies available. You can always get help from someone. If negativity starts controlling one’s life, then one should seek help. Do not forget your parents while coming under pressure.
Amrapali said, “I have received many offers from Bollywood. I am fortunate. If I get a good story, I will definitely do a film there. But my goal is to strengthen the Bhojpuri industry and take it to the level of Bollywood.”
Asked about the webseries in Bhojpuri, she said that there is a lot of scope. In all the webseries that have been created till date, the dialogue and backdrop is related to Bhojpuri.
–By Vivek Tripathi