On his 49th birthday, Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishan opens up about his desire to bring about a revolution in the Bhojpuri film industry and make more content-driven films.
Here’s are excerpts from his interview with indianexpress.com
On getting good films
I think I have finally got the recognition that I wanted and deserved. I had started with Bollywood and then I shifted to Bhojpuri films to create my own identity there. After doing films like Mukkabaaz, I feel I am finally getting films that I deserve. I am also shooting for AltBalaji’s upcoming crime drama. It is a web series called A Family. So, it is an exciting time for me.
It is all about time. People used to think that I stay in Benares or Patna, and hence I wouldn’t be available. Everybody experiences different times in their lives. I think right now I am in the phase where people have recognised me and feel that I am not only a typical Bhojpuri actor. They think that I can do various roles and now I have started my own production house also. Many people have this misconception that Bhojpuri actors are about ‘lehenga-choli’ or ‘dance songs’. People now know that I have worked with Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap and Shriram Raghavan also. I can be a versatile actor. So, I am happy that people have started looking at me in a new light and that finally they have accepted me as an actor. I am glad that I have managed to come out of the Bhojpuri superstar ‘tanka’ (identity). I can be a priest in Tere Naam and a Dalit boxing coach in Mukkabaaz. I can even be a man and a woman in Bullet Raja. Now filmmakers here have come to know that I can do a lot of things and that they need to tap me.
On changing the Bhojpuri film industry
We lack the kind of writers that are needed to write good stories to make great films. We don’t have the kind of passion or madness for good cinema like what Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi filmmakers have. Now I want to change this scenario. I want Bhojpuri films to be rich in content too. I am producing a film right now. Based on rape victims, the film is titled Sanki Daroga, which in English would mean Psycho Killer. I am playing the role of a police officer who is against rape and rapists. These topics were never shown in Bhojpuri films and I have now started bringing it in as people deserve better stories and more mindful content. I am also making a film with Zee. I want to ruffle a few feathers in my industry.
To bring national attention and appreciation to Bhojpuri films, I am now not depending on anyone. I think it is high time we bring in change, and for that I have started making films on my own. There is a kind of confusion in Bhojpuri film industry. We are not able to entertain and not even able to send out a message. We are neither making fully commercial films like how Rohit Shetty does in Bollywood nor are we making content driven films like Anurag Kashyap. Bhojpuri cine fans are also bored of the kind of stuff we are making because they have more exposure now.
On Bhojpuri cine fans
Bhojpuri cine fans watch good films. They watch Salman Khan’s entertainers and can also watch Tanu Weds Manu type of films too. We need a Nadiya Ke Paar and a Kanyadaan also. Both the films worked. In the last few years, there have been lot of ‘masala’ films that have been served to the audience. Bohot gandh machaa diya hai. The audience have kind of retracted from Bhojpuri films. I want to change that perception.