Playing the bad man
No ordinary villain... Manoj Joshi in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
MANOJ JOSHI is a happy man. He has a decent number of films in his kitty and in 2004, at least two of his films are hitting the halls. One is Mehul Kumar's "Jaago", released this past Friday, and the other is Feroz Nadiadwala's "Aan", which is likely to be out by this April.
"I will also be seen in Yash Chopra's `Dhun' and Nandita Singha's `Drishti'. Besides, I am on television too," Manoj updates us. A veteran of the Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi stage for the last 18 years, Manoj is playing a villainous role in both "Jaago" and "Aan".
"In `Jaago', I am playing the role of a corrupt lawyer by the name of Satya Prakash Satwani, who fights a rape case for the culprits. The character, who emerges more powerfully after the interval, can also be called humorous in a way, but it ultimately portrays what such a person can do in such a sensitive situation," elaborates this Mumbai resident on his latest screen entry. A strong believer in justice for all, he compliments director Mehul Kumar for dealing with a real-life incident that needs strong public attention: "It was a pleasure working with him. His treatment of the story is just right. People should see the film."
Based on the recent horrific story of the rape of a girl in a Mumbai train, "Jaago", he observes, is the apt name for the film. Earlier seen in films like "Sarfarosh", "Chandni Bar", "Devdas", "Satta" and "Hungama", Joshi adds that only because of "Jaago", he has ended up being "a close friend" of Manoj Bajpai, the hero of the film.
"We have a strong similarity. We both have stepped into films through theatre," says the actor who has featured in plays by respected names like Prithvi, Tatas, Mahesh Manjrekar and Feroz Khan.
Known more for his superb small screen role of a corrupt politician in the Star Plus soap, "Kehta Hai Dil", Joshi, though not at ease with "the typical branding" in the film industry, laughs when asked why he ends up doing only negative roles. "I want to be versatile. I want to do different roles. But one is left with no option when similar roles keep pouring in," he comments. Though many a serial like "Chanakya", "Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka", "Janeman Janeman", "Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye", "CID", etc. can be named, which featured Manoj in various roles, he is at present concentrating only on the Balaji Telefilms production "Kehta Hai Dil."
"I have not signed any new serial at present. I do not want too many commitments," says the actor, who also holds a diploma in Fine Arts. He admits, though, that the medium has opened enough opportunities for stage artistes. Talking about his "first love" theatre, he remarks, "In films, acting is subtle. But in theatre, there is much more use of body language. In films, retakes can happen, but in a play, you are on your own once the curtain opens. If you hear audience applause in a theatre hall for your performance, the sense of satisfaction is not only instant, but much more than in any other medium."
Anyone who has tasted the thrill could not agree with him more.
SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY
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