EXCLUSIVE: Kirti Kulhari On Indu Sarkar "I was embarrassed and even shocked that I didn’t know anything about the emergency."
She wasn't pitched as a central protagonist before the release of last year's Superhit Pink, as Amitabh Bachchan led from the front and Taapsee Pannu brought the star quotient. However, once the shocking drama was there to see for one and all on the big screen, Kirti Kulhari was noticed for the meaty role that she had in the film as well as the depth that she brought in her performance. No wonder, the young woman found quite some attention coming her way, so much so that she was pronto signed by none other than Madhur Bhandarkar for his most ambitious film till date, Indu Sarkar.
We get chatting with Kirti who is currently fighting off the storm that is brewing around her political drama set during emergency.
It has been 10 months since the release of Pink. From there to now Indu Sarkar, it seems to be one eventful journey for you, isn't it?
I understand how Bollywood as an industry operates, especially with this whole hierarchy thing. That said, I have never personally seen myself as an underdog. Yes, in Pink I was not projected as someone who had a lot to do in there and hence when audience saw my performance, they were in for a surprise, which is great. As an actor so much has changed for me though since finally I am getting all the opportunities that I had been waiting for. I can showcase what I can indeed do.
Indu Sarkar seems to be one such film.
Absolutely. You know, Indu Sarkar happened to me within 15 days of Pink. I had invited Madhur (Bhandarkar) for the film's screening. While he liked me on screen, he discussed with me about Indu Sarkar as well. It was practically the first project that came to me after Pink. When I heard the subject and everything about my character, I realized there was so much that he was planning to do with the film. He is in a great space as a director and I could see that he was so geared up to make this film. I said yes to Indu Sarkar within a couple of meetings itself.
There must have been other offers too. Didn't you feel like picking up some other film as well in the interim period?
I will tell you something. After being around for so many years and never really getting that kind of success that I thought I deserved, finally I was getting my due. So I wanted to give myself whole-heartedly into Indu Sarkar which has an author backed role for me. Moreover, they had plans to start in October/November and as an actor I know that I can't do two things at a time; it just too demanding for me. I like to focus on one thing at a time and was sure that I would be tied up with Indu Sarkar and it would be unfair to pick anything else that came my way. I prepare quite a bit for the film and invested completely into it.
Given the fact that the film deals with emergency, I am sure a lot of knowledge base build up may have been required as well.
To be honest, I had no deep down knowledge of emergency. Sometimes I was embarrassed and even shocked that I didn’t know anything about it. Agreed that I wasn't even born during that era but then still how could I not know of something like this that stretched for two years in the mid-70s. Fortunately for me, Madhur had all the information with him and I built on that further by reading and watching stuff available around emergency. That gave me clarity of what we were talking about.
Now that the film is set for release, anything that concerns you, especially when it comes to protests around it?
I had concerns but only when I was getting ready to shoot for the film. One of my major concerns was that we were showing the reality around emergency and I hoped that we were not playing with it. So I was questioning Madhur everything about it. I understand that these topics are very sensitive and to mess around with that is manipulating the truth. I didn't want to mislead the audience. Today that the film is through, I am more amused than concerned around the protests. I believe they are totally misguided.