Tag Archive for Rajat Kapoor

Even if a movie is brilliant, it may not work at all: Rajat Kapoor

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Rajat Kapoor sounds relaxed but his phone doesn’t seem so; it has been ringing non-stop since his latest film, ‘Aankhon Dekhi’, hit the marquee. Made with a modest budget of Rs 4 crore, the film has drawn encouraging reviews.

Interestingly, the actor-director claims to enjoy directing more than acting. Currently working on two separate scripts, the 53-year-old spoke to hitlist about the kind of cinema that excites him.

Rajat Kapoor. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

You were born and brought up in Delhi. Yet it took you so long to direct a film based in the capital?
That’s why I love ‘Ankhon Dekhi’! (Laughs) Yes, it took me years to go back to the place I grew up in. This film is special for me as is it took me back to my childhood. The entire shoot was an emotional journey for me.

Is it true that you were once considering Naseeruddin Shah for the role that eventually went to Sanjay Mishra?
Yes. There was a point when I wanted Naseersaab on board, but I soon realised that Sanjay would be a better fit for the part. Besides, when I wrote the script, I was clear that only Sanjay can do justice to it. I respect both of them because they are exceptionally talented actors.

Were you expecting such a positive response to the film?
(Pause) Not really. As a director, making a film I want to is what matters most to me. Fortunately, I have done it with ‘Aankhon Dekhi’. What happens before the release is in my hands but after the release, it is out of my control. So I don’t really worry about the film’s reception. Having said that, I’m certainly overwhelmed by the feedback I’ve received so far.

With critical acclaim not always translating to box- office success, where exactly does the commercial angle seep in?
I can only hope our film garners as many eyeballs as possible. The problem lies in the whole set up of our industry. Bollywood is star-driven; nothing sells until and unless it has a known face attached to the project. Even if a movie is brilliant, it may not work at all. There are no guaranteed returns. For instance, I can’t compare Ragini MMS 2 to ‘Aankhon Dekhi’. The former receives more than 12 shows a day, while the latter is allotted one or two. Then again, I’m an eternal optimist (smiles).

Speaking about returns, you managed to find a producer for your film on Twitter…
It just happened. I came across a NRI businessman named Manish Mundra on Twitter. Not only did he show interest in the script, but he also believed in the whole project. Soon, it was clear that this film would happen no matter what. He didn’t stop at investing money either; he took a keen interest in its overall development. We hope to continue working together in the future as well.

Film Review: Ankhon Dekhi – This One Needs A Standing Ovation

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Aakhon Dekhi Cover Pic

Sincere, Effective, Sensitive and Straight From The Heart. That’s Rajat Kapoor‘s Ankhon Dekhi all about.

Ankhon Dekhi proves that a story simply told will always tough an emotional cord and that’s exactly what this film does. Ankhon Dekhi touches your heart and makes you smile.

Ankhon Dekhi began as an idea about eight to ten years ago, but then Rajat Kapoor struggled to put it into structure, mulling over it for years, looking for an emotional spine in the story. And one day, he figured out a joint family in Delhi’s neighbourhood.

Rajat Kapoor‘s Ankhon Dekhi is a story set in old Delhi. It follows the life of Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) who lives a normal life until one incident changes the way he sees the world and its ways.

Bauji’s daughter is in love with a boy and he gest to know that his son-in-law to be has a terrible reputation. Worried family members reach his doorstep, they abuse him and even hit him but all he does is stands and cries till Bauji interferes. He finds out that the boy is exactly opposite of what he had heard. This is the incident that changes his life and from there he follows the basic principle, Seeing Is Believing.

The story gets interesting as Bauji is always up to something new, which keeps him in the news in his neighborhood. At one point he stops talking and says that he will only listen to people and gain knowledge.

The humour is very understated and at times brings a tear in your eye. Seeing actors like Sanjay Mishra, Rajat Kapoor, Namit Das, Seema Pahwa and Taranjeet perform is a treat.

Ankhon Dekhi is a display of great teamwork. From Rajat Kapoor’s writing and direction to Rafey Mehmood’s cinematography beautifully capturing the narrow lanes of old Delhi. Even Sagar Desai’s music fits perfectly here. Sanjay Mishra in the lead puts up a great show and Rajat Kapoor as his younger brother is superb.

Ankhon Dekhi is a must watch and I strongly feel that more filmmakers need to encouraged to make such beautiful cinema.

Raiting: *** 1/2

Ankhon Dekhi movie review: Sanjay Mishra and Rajat Kapoor come up with the best intellectually retrospective comedy in a long time!

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People say that wine grows better with age and same is the case with this film. Having been written over four years back, this film seems to have grown better in content. Even Rajat Kapoor’s directorial skills have grown better with the passage of time. Read on to know the full movie review…

Actor-director-writer Rajat Kapoor‘s latest offering Ankhon Dekhi, all set in Purani Dilli, is one of those films which will make you go into introspective mode. The movie is based on a simple concept of ‘Seeing is believing’ and Sanjay Mishra’s character bauji has brought it out in a fantastic way.

Bauji‘s sudden epiphany causes an outrage in the family and makes him a butt of jokes among the neighbours and their friends, but bauji is unflinching and stands by his resolve. Very soon there is a motley of characters who surround bauji and start following him as his disciples.The movie is rock solid in the first half but in the second half slackens a bit but delivers with solid comic punches like bauji wetting his pants after hearing a tiger roar, and jumping with joy after getting a job as a gambler.

Rajat Kapoor‘s story is crisp and doesn’t wander a lot from its main agenda. It is witty although wry at points, but for the intellectually sound the film is a laugh riot. The sarcasm and pun laden dialogues are make you guffaw in your seats. Rajat directs this ship with an ensemble of characters and takes it towards the right direction with zest. His direction abilities have grown and he makes you think of Woody Allen or Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Rafey Mahmood’s cinematography is real and intimate and makes you relive the lanes and bylanes of Purani Dilli. The shots in itself are quirky, although cosy, and yet very picturesque. The look and feel that Rafey brings to the film is that of the late 80s and early 90s. Most of the shots are taken in real life locations. Many a times the props look so real that they give you an impression that they might have been just borrowed from the locals and neighbours for the day’s shoot.

Coming to the best part of the film, the music, is absolutely mind blowing. Sagar Desai‘s tunes are apt and situational and create the necessary effect to the best of their abilities. Not just the songs, but even the background score is fantastic. Oscar winner Resul Pokutty’s sound design gives takes you to a new high.

Performances

Sanjay Mishra as always was flawless, and is absolutely marvellous playing the the caring, muddled father, who also aspires to be the brooding rationalist. Rajat Kapoor, himself playing the younger brother to bauji, has delivered a commendable performance. Although he has less screen presence he ably portrays the character of the brother who feels suffocated always listening to whatever his bhaiya says. Namit Das plays the young lover of bauji‘s daughter and he has also performed well especially in the initial scene where he is seen crying. It is because of his character that bauji gets the epiphany and the story begins. Finally coming down to the best performance of the movie, Seema Pahwa, as Amma. It is her character which makes you remember your own mother and makes you realise what sorts of problems a lower middle class housewife goes through. The rest of the characters have done their bit commendably.

The Plot

It all starts when bauji interacts with her daughter’s boyfriend and he gets to know that everyone in his family had misunderstood the boy. Thus he has an eiphany and decides that , henceforth he would believe only those things which he believes and wouldn’t trust on anything else. The situations and problems faced by his family because of this decision forms the crux of the story.

Verdict: Ankhon Dekhi is a perfect mixture of and experimental art film and offbeat cinema, which gives you the feel of a Hrishikesh Mukherjee or a Woddy Allen film. The simplistic story and the even simple ideals of a common family have been portrayed to the best. The balance although shifts at times and makes you lose the entertainment quotient but maybe for a couple of minutes at the max. The story is meaningful and the presentation is entertaining. BollywoodLife suggests it to the cinemagoer who loves watching classy films and abhors watching the masala Hindi film.

So go ahead BollywoodLifers, watch the film and drop in your thoughts on the movie review!

Rating: 3.5 out of 53.5 Star Rating

Reviewed by Prateek Sur

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