Manoj Bajpayee’s latest film Naam Shabana is doing decent business at the box office. The actor will next be seen in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar 3. During a candid interview with indianexpress.com, Manoj spoke about films and why the fading single-screen culture and other stuff. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Not many male actors would do a film where a female actor has a prominent part? Were there any apprehensions about doing Naam Shabana?
This industry has changed. People should start appreciating films where women are at the centre. Every alternate Friday, there is at least one film that’s female oriented. Things have changed since three years. These films are not only making money but also being appreciated as any other film with a male protagonist.
How do you see a film’s box office figures?
I would really want all my films to make money. But this weekend calculation is the most dangerous thing. Because based on the amount collected in the first weekend, they start declaring the film a hit or a flop. It can’t be. The three-day business can’t determine the quality of the film. That only harms the creative aspect of the film. That also discourages a serious filmmaker from doing good work. This is not a good trend.”
We keep hearing that movies aren’t doing enough business. What do you think?
It’s the ticket prices that are very discouraging to the viewers. A Rs 500 ticket is too costly for a common man and only a common man can revive the movie culture in the country. These were the people who made stars and movies stay at the theatres. When a common man is discouraged to buy a movie ticket, it becomes a concern for the entire film industry. I think entertainment tax is too steep. A combination of these two things has made things difficult.
Recently Regal theatre closed down in Delhi. What are your memories about single screens?
This is a matter of concern for all of us. Single screens are shutting down all across the country. A common man doesn’t go to a multiplex. For him, a single screen remains the ultimate source of watching movies. I recently went to Bihar and found that most of the single screens have shut down. In my city, there used to be around 7-8 single screens and now only two are left. This is not healthy for the film industry.”
Will we get to see you in Bhojpuri films?
You will definitely see me in Bhojpuri films but only if I get the right script. That’s my mother tongue and I am more comfortable in it than any other language. However, a language can’t determine my future involvement in a film. The only determining factor should be the script. It has been so many years but nobody is giving me anything concrete which I can do that immediately.
Why haven’t films like Baahubali been made in Bollywood?
I don’t know. I think Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani was quite appealing visually and dramatic as well. Sanjay has been working in that genre. Let’s wait till he comes out with his next film. Baahubali is a spectacle. Hollywood has been doing this kind of cinema and they have been doing it very well. Baahubali’s visual work is fantastic and it really mesmerises the audience. These are the films that are necessary for the business of the film industry.