Fresh Start

With his next,Issaq,coming up,Prateik speaks of turning wise after early pitfalls of his career

Published: July 23, 2013 5:16 am

Love stories are special to Prateik. On screen,he believes,they allow for a certain intensity to be portrayed by the lead characters. And off it,they enrich life and add yet another layer of experience and wisdom to the personalities of the lovers,even if the relationship eventually doesn’t work out. After parting ways with girlfriend,actor Amy Jackson,the 27-year-old lives this philosophy. He has invested all his energies in promoting his next release Issaq,scheduled for July 26. In the film,he plays a character based on the tragic hero of William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet.

The film,directed by debutant Manish Tiwary,has been awaiting release for more than a year. “The role came to me four years ago. I was impressed by the nuances of the character,which go beyond Shakespeare’s original,” he says. While the fundamental story has been retained,the setting has been altered to that of two warring gangster families of Varanasi,with a parallel Naxalite track. “I play a playboy and killing machine. Yet,there lurks in my character the pain of having turned to guns at an early age. It builds in him as anger,which is released when he falls in love with the daughter of his enemy,” says Prateik.

The role required Prateik to learn the mannerisms,language and diction of people from North India as well as tap into his own angst. “I was a very angry child because of the issues at home,” he says,referring to the controversies surrounding his parents,Smita Patil and Raj Babbar. “Manish managed to bring out that angst within me and I could lend it to my character,” he says.

The young actor believes he has mellowed over the years. Now,he is better equipped to understand the complicated relationship that his parents and both sides of the family have shared.

Prateik’s love for acting is visible in the way he incessantly talks about the films he has worked on and would like to. He admits that his exposure,while growing up,was limited to mainstream Hollywood and Bollywood films until Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na came his way seven years ago. “I was training with adman Prahlad Kakkar,who liked my goofiness and cast me in a few ads,giving me my first exposure to the camera. He pushed me to audition for Jaane Tu. The film changed my perception of cinema and opened doors to what the medium can achieve,” he recounts.

However,entering the film industry without any prior understanding of its functioning or people soon had him disillusioned. While Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat won him compliments,other films,such as Dum Maaro Dum,My Friend Pinto and Ekk Deewana Tha,didn’t work at the box office. “On the one hand are people such as Aamir (Khan) and Kiran,who guide me whenever I need them. On the other,are people who pretend to be my well-wishers and friends,” he says. He had once trusted a director who had promised to sign him for a film and let go of other projects,only to read in the papers that someone else had been cast in the role. At present,Prateik — who is working on a suspense thriller titled Rum Pum Posh — feels better-equipped to handle his career. He is also learning the trade,the importance of choosing a film that will be a box-office success and what goes into making a movie.

“I only sleep and eat my meals at home. Every day,I head out to meet people,watch films,educate myself on the medium so that I can better myself at it,” he says.

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