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Showbiz Buddies

Actors Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak on their long-standing partnership,dwindling roles and their latest film together,Bajatey Raho

The acting careers of Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak have been strangely intertwined with each other. Individually,they have followed the same trajectory: from starting as funnymen on television 15 years ago,in Channel V’s popular show Oye,to being stupendous performers in character-driven roles in films. Funny,poignant and heart-rending all at once,they have even turned unlikely winning leads in films such as Mithya (Shorey) and Bheja Fry (Pathak) and demonstrated great control of their own talent on stage in plays such as The Blue Mug.

Together,they have had such shared success and visibility across films,television and theatre that there is an instant recall value associated with the duo,much like Hollywood actors Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler. According to Pathak,their uniqueness lies in their innate ability to try out new things with “ease,chemistry and madness”,defying being typecast as much as possible. “There are many who wanted to cast us together. If we start doing those projects,most of them would look the same. So we’ve been very choosy,” says Shorey.

The long-time friends will be now seen in Bajatey Raho,a film directed by their friend and collaborator Shashant Shah. Three of them go back to the time Shah directed the duo in the television show The Great Indian Comedy Circus. Pathak has also been a constant in both his previous films Dasvidaniya and Chalo Dilli.

The new film is being pitched as a “revenge-drama” and the plot,a bit similar to that of Khosla Ka Ghosla,is also set in Delhi and shows the triumph of the middle-class underdog over the powerful,rich and corrupted in the garb of a comedy. But Shorey insists Bajatey Raho takes the idea of Khosla…,which he was a part of,forward. It takes one of its threads and realises it through a whole film. “If Khosla… were a television series,then Bajatey Raho could be the next episode,” says Shorey.

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This is their first appearance together since the insignificant The Film Emotional Attyachar in 2010,indicating the career slump both have been going through. While Pathak acted in leading roles in forgettable films such as Chalo Dilli,Pappu Can’t Dance Saala,and even attempted a comeback with the sequel of his famous Bheja Fry,Shorey’s promising filmography has been abruptly shortened in the last few years,even after his glorious turn as the tragic leading man in Mithya. “I would think that I would rather die than get slotted as an actor,but then I wake up to realise that I have my electricity bills to pay,” says Shorey. He took up bit roles in big-budget entertainers,the recent one being Ek Tha Tiger.

While Shorey seems somewhat disillusioned by the unfairness of it all,Pathak attributes it to the vagaries of showbiz. “It is simply because the films didn’t earn money,and therefore films stopped coming. It is a phase that the industry makes you go through,but I still stick to the same rule while selecting films — I have to like the script,” he says.

In their latest film,which is up for release in July-end,both Shorey and Pathak play characters who have been wronged by a corrupt entrepreneur. While Ravi Kishan plays the entrepreneur,the cast also includes Tusshar Kapoor and Dolly Ahluwalia.

First published on: 19-06-2013 at 12:08:23 am
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