Joginder Tuteja, Glamsham Editorial
These are busy days for Om Puri. Last month he had three back-to-back films to his credit - WEST IS WEST, LOVE EXPRESS and BIN BULAYE BARAATI. Now this weekend he would be seen in a pivotal role in KHAP, a film which deals with honor killing. Though he is happy to be doing quite a few films, he strongly believes that in Bollywood not many filmmakers are making sensible films, hence resulting in actors like him suffering from lack of meaty roles.
"See, we may not agree to this but then at the end of the day, we all follow a basic formula for filmmaking," rues Puri, "Barring 10 odd directors in Mumbai who are making good sensible cinema, there is hardly anyone who is happy to raise the bar and do something over and above the routine."
He is happy to name these directors while also acknowledging the fact that it has been a pleasure for him to work with many of them.
"Look at these men out there. Directors like Raj Kumar Santoshi, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Prakash Jha and Sudhir Mishra; they know how to make sensible cinema. What they make is not art cinema but something which is a good combination of art and commerce. I see them as real sensible people making sensible cinema," Puri appreciates the veterans here.
In the process of doing that, he doesn't forget the impact that the new generation of directors has made in the recent times. "I am particularly impressed by the work of Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ashutosh Gowariker and Dibakar Banerjee; they have been superb in what they make," he says.
Puri hasn't given up though. He believes that there is light at the end of the tunnel after all, as long as one is willing to explore it. "The fact is that Indian cinema has come a long way as far as technique is concerned. In this area we have developed really well. It is just that we lack in good subjects to be explored. I think it is high time we paid attention to this aspect of filmmaking as well. We have such rich literature to fall back on. Let's do that. Once this happens, we will be a proud filmmaking industry," says Puri on a hopeful note before signing off.