A calculated risk

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Aug 2017 09:10:05


By Farina Salim Quraishi

With a day left to go before his latest movie Bhikari hits the screens, actor Swwapnil Joshi is a bundle of nerves, yet fully confident of the film doing well. Bhikari revolves around the emotional bond between a mother and her son and how a twist of fate changes his world forever. Challenging on many levels, the actor, popular for his role as Lord Krishna in Shri Krishna, is looking to break new ground with the author-backed role.

“Bhikari – like its title -is a very unusual film, exciting actually. It pushed my limits as an actor, as my character, Samraj Jaikar, goes from being a multi-millionaire to a penniless pauper, begging on the streets. It was difficult to get the character’s nuances right as we didn’t want it to be a caricature. A lot of effort was put in to get the body-language and expressions right. Also, the emotional bond Samraj has with his mother is incredibly challenging. So, there was this huge range of emotions I had to explore and express in the film, something which I have not done before. I can confidently say, when the audience will the watch the film, they will only see Samraj Jaikar and not Swwapnil Joshi in Bhikari. Overall, it has been a very creatively satisfying experience for me,” adds Swwapnil with a lot of enthusiasm.

Bhikari is renowned Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s maiden Marathi directorial venture. It didn’t take much for Ganesh Acharya, who has earlier directed films like Swami and Money Hai Toh Honey Hai, to get the Duniyadaari actor on board. A simple narration and the hugely talented team of the film was all that it took for him to sign on the dotted line!

“First off I’m a huge mama’s boy. So, this film in a way is my tribute to her. Secondly, Ganesh Acharya is a big name in the industry and I was eager to work with him Also, its technical team is one of the best in the business. Bhikari has been written by Guru Thakur, the brains behind Natrang, while the action has been choreographed by Bollywood legend Abbas Ali Mogul, plus it had Mahesh Limaye as its DoP! There is just no reason to refuse the film,” says the chocolate-faced hunk.

Popularly known as Marathi cinema’s Shah Rukh Khan, Swwapnil Joshi, is convinced Bhikari will go a long way in breaking his romantic hero image. “By far this is the riskiest role I have done. But, a calculated one. The way it is written, the characterisation, the presentation - everything is different. In fact, this will take me away from my image as a loverboy. With Bhikari I’m venturing into an unknown territory. It’s challenging and scary, yet I was confident if ever I was to do something drastically different, there will be no better opportunity than Bhikari,” the 39-year- old actor asserts Being a Ganesh Acharya film, it’s not surprising that the music and choreography of the film are hitting the right notes.

Scores of Bollywood stars, including Rohit Shetty, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra and several others have heaped praise on the upcoming film. An ecstatic Swwapnil is moved by the grace and gesture of Bollywood. “I was really surprised by the enthusiastic support of Hindi film industry for Bhikari. Several stars have even posted videos the dance step is Bala O Bala, going gaga over the ‘kamal ke steps!’. It’s unprecedented, really. And I have no words to express my gratitude to all the actors for supporting the film, taking it to a much wider audience,” says Swwapnil with gusto.

Marathi film industry, off late, has seen a greater participation of Bollywood, be it for promotions, filmmaking and even acting. Ask the Mitwa star about the increased ‘Hindi’ footfall and Swwapnil Joshi is vocal in his appreciation.

“Bollywood associating itself with Marathi film industry is a win-win situation for all really. The publicity and exposure Bollywood brings works wonders for Marathi films, which at times are not able to grab enough eyeballs. Moreover, all the stars venturing into Marathi cinema are very intelligent folks.

They are well aware of the territory they are stepping into. They know very well that content will always supersede commercial diktats and as the previous ventures have shown us, they are in-sync with language and its sensibilities,” states the actor before signing off.

With Bhikari being the past, present and future for Swwapnil Joshi for the time being, the talented actor is confident that his calculated risk will pay rich dividends come Friday ‘begging’ an encore!

The film also stars Rucha Inamdar, Guru Thakur, Sayaji Shinde, Milind Shinde, Kirti Aadarkar and Pradip Kabra in lead roles. It is slated for release August 4. n