Is Indie film dead? Ask Rahul Bose

The exciting low-budget film movement in Indian cinema is dead and buried, and may not ever see a resurrection reminiscent of its glorious days, says actor Rahul Bose.

The versatile actor, who would soon be seen in Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children,” rues the sad demise of a breed with a poser: “Where is that film which has been made in Rs.3 crores?”

The true Indie film is dead. Almost, he says. But he has some good words for Bengali cinema. “Some extraordinary work is being done out there,” says the actor, justifying his visibility in Bengali cinema in the recent times. “As an actor, I never let language become a restricting factor. I will do a film if I am convinced creatively and if it promises creative stimulation.”

Blisteringly critical of “the arrogance and snobbery of the Hindi film industry,” Bose asks: “How many of them are winning National awards?”

Rahul, who directed the film “Moth Smoke” (produced by Anurag Kashyap), based on Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s book, insists that direction has not really been a natural progression for him. “Some actors want to direct and some don’t. For me, it’s exciting territory.”

“It has been over 10 years since I made “Everybody Says I am Fine” in 2001. Frankly, I am yet to come across anyone who has seen the film and forgotten about it. They may have liked it or not, but no one ignored its originality and vividness. And that’s precisely what makes me go behind the camera.”

The actor, who has explored multiple genres, wants to do another children’s film, “I see the children in slums. I also see the rich man’s kid…Yes, one can explore so much in a children’s film. I am already negotiating for one.”

Rahul has been a leading light of the low-budget film movement in India and stuck to the genre when it was going through a testing time. He, is, however, upset at new trends.”These so-called low budget films you see nowadays are produced by big studios which spend huge amounts on publicity.” These “small” films hire the biggest of actors. Look at “Kahaani” or “Barfi, says Rahul.

The ace actor, who plays a major role in the upcoming “Midnight’s Children,” credited Deepa for recreating the excitement that he yearns for. “Deepa knows what she’s doing. She has the clarity and sense of purpose. The time spent with co-actors, on and off the sets, was a collage of tightly constructed experiences.”

The actor says he wanted to be a part of the historic moment of creating a film based on acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie’s novel. But the hard part was “as an actor, the chance to play someone much older can be really challenging…”