Tragicomedy Ram Singh Charlie will have its digital premiere on SonyLIV this Friday. Starring Divya Dutta and Kumud Mishra in the lead roles, the film has been directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Nitin Kakkar. The story will chronicle the journey of Ramsingh (Mishra), a Charlie Chaplin impersonator who works in a travelling circus. With the circus shutting down due to financial crisis, Singh starts working as a rickshaw puller to make ends meet. However, his wife Kajri (Dutta) tries to rebuild his confidence in his craft, knowing that the stage is his real love.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Divya Dutta talks about Ram Singh Charlie, working with Kumud Mishra, why she wants to relive the experience again and more.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Tell us something about Ram Singh Charlie.
First of all, in every actor’s career, there comes a film, where you cherish the entire process. The film has been made by a supremely talented team against all odds. It’s the same people who made Filmistaan, which is a film I love. I had met Nitin and he was speaking about this film. That’s when I asked him if I could do it. He was, however, very honest, and told me he is auditioning a few people for the role. After some time, I got a call to attend the workshop, which was a new experience in itself for me. The script is so beautiful, and my character Kajri has very few lines, yet I never felt it. It was so much fun working with all of them. I think the beauty of Ram Singh Charlie is its simplicity. Also, I have gone beyond my comfort zone for the part.
So Nitin did not even allow one ounce of makeup on my face. I remember I put on the basic makeup, but he made me wash my face. “Mooh dho ke aao,” he told me (laughs). I was a little sceptical initially if my dark circles would be seen, but after the first scene, I realised Kajri was way beyond all of it. She just took over all inhibitions. Nitin is also a fabulous director, who sets the tonality right for the actors. Half of the job is done there. He also told me that you are known for your smile and emotional scenes, but you are not going to do any of it. Kajri will not even have one tear. I was actually a nervous wreck on the set, and I had to unlearn a lot on this set. As actors, you keep adding extra things, but Nitin wanted a raw person, and thus I had to leave everything behind. I cannot express how delighted I feel about the film, and if I could go back, I would love to relive every moment again.
How much of Divya did you put in Kajri, and at the end of the schedule, how much did you bring back with yourself?
I did put in a little Divya. The heart definitely. I carried my vulnerability along. As for Kajri, she is somebody who doesn’t talk much unlike me. I couldn’t get that back home, but yes, I think after playing the part, the therav has come in. I learnt the importance of taking control of a situation by acting upon it rather than just thinking about it.
How was it working with Kumud Mishra?
He is a dear friend and I absolutely love him. He is the sweetest person I know. He is very shy and dependable. He is actually like Kajri in real life. Kumud is very responsible and has this reassuring aura around him. You know he is looking over you whenever he is there. Also, I witnessed his journey in the film, and it was inspiring to be on set with him. He lost so much weight, and changed himself to play Charlie Chaplin for the circus sequences. I wanted to attempt all of it seeing him. I think the entire process became much more fun because of him.
You also mentioned about the film being simple. In a time when several magnum opus are being created, do you think it will manage to strike a connect?
I think simplicity has always reached the heart straight. There are no frills, no drama. It’s a sweet, poignant film about basic human emotions. Also, in a time like this, a story about partners standing by you for their dreams and hopes, and fighting all odds will definitely be more relatable.
While you recently tasted success on OTT with Special Ops, what’s your take on films releasing digitally. Is it the need of the hour?
I think we have to move on with the new normal. Yes, going to watch a film on the big screen, whistling at moments is a different emotion. But there are so many people consuming digital content. And they are watching it at their own will, discretion and time. It’s actually wonderful. Now bigger films are also coming on the medium. I think what’s most amazing is that the audience is choosing what to watch.
SonyLIV movie Ram Singh Charlie will start streaming from August 28.
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