Arjun Rampal has played the brooding musician, the cunning politician and we have even seen him as an evil film producer but almost 20 years into his career, Arjun is now ready to play a pilot in ZEE5 web series The Final Call. Based on Priya Kumar’s novel I Will Go With You, the web series mixes thrill with spirituality, which certainly sounds intriguing.
Arjun Rampal has been in the film industry for almost two decades now and he believes it’s the passion and love that still keeps him going. Arjun first came into the spotlight when he made his debut in 2001’s Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat and 19 years later, he is keen on experimenting with the digital genre. The actor said, “I think everything is an experiment. You don’t know what’s going to work or not and going to the digital space for a web series seemed very natural to me. The job is the same. It doesn’t look like you are not shooting a feature.”
Arjun mentions that working in the digital medium is a purist expression of art. “There is a tremendous amount of freedom, which one gets as an artist to say what they want to say because there are no restrictions of box office or for that matter even from a censorship point of view. It was like a breath of fresh air where you can really go and explore your art in a very very purist manner,” he said.
The Final Call, his upcoming web series on Zee5, has him playing a pilot, Captain Karan Sachdev. Arjun shared that he had actually signed a historical magnum opus with the OTT platform but when that did not pan out as expected, Tarun Katiyal, the CEO of ZEE5, offered him this part. “When I read it (the book), I was quite impressed. We blindly choose to get on to a plane thinking that this pilot is a great guy and he is going to take me to my destination, safe and sound. But what if he isn’t? What if there is something going wrong with that pilot? Not like that he’s drunk or high. What if he is mentally not stable? And how many checks do we do to figure out if our pilot is mentally stable or not? None. There are no checks like that,” Arjun Rampal said.
Arjun’s character on the show is dealing with a psychological disorder and this gave him a chance to portray something new. He said, “This is new. This is refreshing. This is going to be something which I think will catch the imagination of the audience.” The mental health of the character is the subtext of the show, but Arjun explains that they had to do it in “an entertaining manner, otherwise it just becomes very preachy.” Since the show deals with moral dilemmas so there is also a spiritual angle to it. Arjun said, “You go through this whole spiritual journey as well as this whole journey of thrill and rollercoaster ride of a psychological drama.”
Arjun Rampal is also a National Film Award winner and the performance that landed him that honour was Rock On’s Joe Mascarenhas. He believes that it is the relatability quotient of Joe that still resonates with people. “He went through a lot of depression. Fought against all odds and is a complete underdog. I think it was very realistically done. I think that’s what connects to people where he stands for what he believes in, and in the end, kind of finds himself,” the actor said.
Arjun Rampal starred in Sudhir Mishra’s Inkaar alongside Chitrangada Singh in 2013 and in the light of #MeToo movement, it has now become a relevant film. The film dealt with the subject of sexual harassment at workplace. Arjun said, “We were trying to throw light on to it about 5 years ago when we did Inkaar. I think it’s really important that people who have gotten away with things which are not acceptable should know that it cannot happen anymore. I have two daughters. If they want to go into any industry, I would not want them to experience this kind of behaviour or even if they do, god forbid, for any reason they should know that they have a voice and it will be heard and the perpetrators would be punished. Punishment on an extreme level is important.”
Alongside Rampal, The Final Call also stars Anupriya Goenka, Sakshi Tanwar, Javed Jaffrey, Neeraj Kabi and Vipin Sharma among others.