May 182018

Mid-day online gets in touch with the versatile Vinay Pathak to speak about his film, Khajoor Pe Atke

Vinay Pathak
Vinay Pathak in a still from the film, Khajoor Pe Atke trailer. Picture Courtesy: YouTube

Vinay Pathak’s witty and humble nature might put anyone at ease. His films are a classic treat, as the actor admits it’s all about story-telling. The Bheja Fry star’s method acting is a delight to watch. While he has always been entertaining the audience with several mad-cap satires, Pathak, once again is all set to mesmerise the audience with a phenomenal subject – a tongue-in-cheek comedy, Khajoor Pe Atke. In an exclusive interview with mid-day online, Vinay Pathak explains the subject of this film and why every middle-class family will relate to it.

Excerpts from the interview:

We sure know the meaning of the idiom, Khajoor pe Atke, but we would like you to make us explain the context of it in terms of this film?
It’s a fantastic film. Khajoor Pe Atke is a Hindi idiom as we all know. So, the film is about getting out of a problem just to fall into another trouble. Lots of time what happens is that you think you’re troubles are over, and then you realise that a bigger trouble is awaiting you. So, that’s what it means. The reason the film has a title like this because the plot is such. It is very realistic. It’s not deliberately given a comic plot. In fact, it’s a very serious and tragic one. There are three brothers, and I am playing the younger one. Manoj Pahwa is playing the elder brother, and the other brother is in the ICU. He is comatose and it’s the family tragedy that occurs. So, the film starts with it, and the brother, who is in the ICU lives in Bombay, and the other two brothers live in different cities. 

Why do you think one should watch this film? In what way will it strike a chord with the audience?
In the wake of such a tragedy, the family gets together, and what happens in a middle-class family is what the film is all about. For instance, overnight you have to leave with all the family members, buy a flight ticket, there are small children, what should we do? How many leaves should we apply for in the school? So, all these things from the external point of view are very comic and funny, but for people who are stuck in it, these things aren’t funny at all. If somebody has to spend 50-40k overnight just for a flight ticket, it’s a huge casualty. But, middle-class problems, families are about all these casualties. It’s a very realistic film and families go through such extreme realistic situations every other day. That’s why I feel the connection with the audience is stronger, even in a comedy like this.

Didn’t you’ll have to be very cautious with the subject?
Of course, we had to. The good thing about this is they (makers of the film) engulfed the satire in a screenplay, in a dialogue format. The comic moments are situational. We are not doing a deliberate comedy. It comes out naturally because it’s a well-written, well-researched script. Something like this has happened in director Harsh Chhaya’s own life. So, his anecdotes and scenes have come from there. 

Have you ever been stuck in such a situation?
There are so many, all our lives – schools, colleges. I remember, when I was in school, I wasn’t really good in Mathematics. So, before the board exams, my father suggested I go for tuitions. It was a headache for me because I did not enjoy maths. I started going every day for three hours and told my father that I have learned enough and I don’t think that I need tuitions anymore. My father spoke to the teacher and next evening, the teacher comes and tells me, now that you are ready with Maths, let’s get to chemistry because your father also told me and even I found out that your chemistry is worse than your maths. And then I had to take chemistry tuitions. So, this was one of those moments, ‘Aasmaan se gire, khajoor pe atke.’

What kind of films do you get attracted to because we see you in fewer films?
I’m very attracted to and excited about story-telling films because if it’s not driven by the story or the plot, I somehow lose interest. I’m not saying that I don’t like song and dance films, but only to watch them. When it comes to me, I don’t think I have the talent to do song and dance film, and carry it off and be as convincing as many fantastic actors are. My focus is very simple and straight-forward. I look for a story, screenplay and dialogue-laden wonderful scripts, which I still get very excited to do.

What are your upcoming projects?
Apart from Khajoor Pe Atke, there are films, which I’m extremely excited about. One is a mad-cap political satire with director Anubhav Sinha. We’ve just finished shooting for it. I am very happy with the way the film has shaped up, and can’t wait for it to release. There’s another film called Chintu Ka Birthday.

What are your expectations from High Jack?
The trailer itself has crossed a few million views already. The response has been very generous, feverish and favourable, very positive. That’s why we are very excited about this film and we are running around to promote it.

Also Read: Vinay Pathak Says Indian Artistes Get ‘Special Care’ In Pakistan

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