On the release of his third film Gunday, Arjun Kapoor talks about his love for stylised films.
On the release of his third film Gunday, Arjun Kapoor talks about his love for stylised films, the disadvantage of being a producer’s son and not looking like “a clean-shaven actor”
Look for his name online and the first result the search engine throws up is “Arjun Kapoor fat”, with pictures released by the actor of his former 130 kg self. A lot has changed for Kapoor since then. He made a smashing debut with Ishaqzaade and now his rotund, baby face has given way to a stubble-sporting brooding persona. Ali Abbas Zafar, the director of Gunday describes him as the “true manifestation of an Indian man — raw and rustic”.
Gunday seems to have all the trappings of the ’70s action dramas films just like your last release Aurangzeb. What made you choose a film like Gunday?
Aurangzeb had all those old-school formulae coming together. It was a quintessential crime-drama with family at its centre, but without songs. It didn’t work because the audience found it too dry for our mainstream cinema. Gunday, on the other hand, appealed to the child in me. It’s the kind of movie I aspire to make if I ever direct — it’s not some incoherent, mindless, commercial type of a film but with genuine weaving of emotions and solid characters. Also, a film about brotherhood and intense friendship hasn’t come our way in years. Gunday invokes the era of Sholay and Kala Patthar but holds its own. It’s not just a ‘two-hero falling for the same girl’ type of film. A brotherhood binds them because they are refugees together and their angst against the system is justified.
What kind of cinema excites you?
I watch all kinds of films, but I have a soft spot for commercial, filmy movies. I like the 48 frames-per-second, the stylisation and highlighting of a moment. You are telling a story but there is a certain style to it. I love movies by Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott because they have a visual style. Gunday gave me a similar feeling of a larger-than-life canvas.
How do you choose your films?
My first film Ishaqzaade chose me. For Aurangzeb, I was excited at the prospect of doing a double role in my second film. Each film appeals to a different sensibility in me. If it’s taking me back to a comfort zone or repetition of some sort, I refrain from doing it because now is my time to do everything. We are young enough to not get slotted. There are interesting scripts around and we should look to play different characters.
You have a bunch of bright contemporaries who continued…