Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor: Box office obsession dictates our perception of a film


By Natalia Ningthoujam

New Delhi, Jun 3 (IANS): Actor Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor says he has "loyalties" to his character Sikander Khanna in "Bhavesh Joshi Superhero", and if the film ever gets a sequel, he would love to be a part of it.

In the Vikramaditya Motwane film, the young Sikander becomes a masked vigilante to avenge his friend's murder, and soon gets involved in a fight to end corruption. Although not a blockbuster, the film has managed to garner a cult following over the two years since its release.

"I am not a very big fan of superhero films, which is one of the reasons why I chose 'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero' because it's so different from any superhero film. I really loved the realism," the actor told IANS.

"I am more attracted to human dramas and stories about real-life people, and if I ever wanted to do a superhero film, I will be happy to be part of its ('Bhavesh Joshi Superhero') sequel if it happens. I just want to keep myself free for that and have my loyalties to the character," he added.

When the film the screens on June 1, 2018, it didn't enjoy 100 percent occupancy at cinema halls. Later, when it moved to an OTT platform, it was showered with love by many.

Does he think that releasing a film on an OTT platform is better than theatres, especially now when there is a fear of COVID-19?

"The theatrical system or the way that it is set up in India is pretty much strictly for mainstream films. When you have alternative films or films that are slightly different or smaller films releasing in the west, they have very unique marketing and release strategies. Sometimes they release initially on five or 10 screens, and they end up going wide, whereas in India, for example, a film like 'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero' will have a pretty wide release and if the box office and audience turn out is not good enough then the exhibitor will replace the show and give it to a film that is doing better," he shared.

He feels that in a world where exhibitors and distributors are handling the situation like that, it becomes very difficult for a film like "Bhavesh Joshi Superhero" to get the attention and the time of play.

"And what happens with India and the Indian media is when a film releases in a theatre, people are just so obsessed with the box office, it kind of dictates the perception of a film. For example, if the film releases and the numbers on the first day are underwhelming and below expectations, the large section of the media is very quick to dice off the film.

"They are not really focused on the artistic integral of the film or the technical merits of the film or the idea or method behind the film and what happens is once the film is out of the theatre, the whole dust settles and when it comes on digital, people are watching it with fresh lengths. They are not concerned about the box office numbers, and they are watching in the comfort of their own homes, they have more time, they are more patient and I think it is a film when you watch it patiently, it will give you a very unique experience and there are very few films like it," he added.

He thinks that the lines are blurring between the digital and theatrical audiences.

"But we still have some ways to go. The good part is the film has found its home in Netflix and what happened to the film over the past two years because of the digital revolution, has been remarkable," said the "Mirzya" actor.

Talking about best memory of working on the film, Harsh Varrdhan shared: "While making the film, Priyanshu (Painyuli) who plays Bhavesh and me, we actually moved out of our houses and lived together for about three to four months in a flat in Shastri Nagar, Andheri. We would do rehearsals, eat together, go on a drink and go to set together. So we literally lived like roommates and brothers for that entire time which brought us extremely close. The whole making of the film, was very memorable and very difficult," said Harsh Varrdhan.

  

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