We are sure that the person who must have coined the saying ‘Jack of all trade, master of none’, must definitely not have heard of Farhan Akhtar. The moment one hears the name Farhan Akhtar, there are many synonyms which pops up in the form of actor, director, singer, rockstar, musician, producer… the list is practically endless. It’s the very Farhan Akhtar, who is now all set to storm the silver screens yet again with another stellar performance in the much awaited hard hitting film Lucknow Central.
Satish Sundaresan of KoiMoi met up with the multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar for a heartfelt interview. Here are the excerpts:
Farhan, to start with, how confident are you about Lucknow Central?
I am confident that it is a good film. I am extremely happy and proud of the film that Ranjit has made. Even though he is a first time director, not even for a second does the film comes across as being made by somebody who is a debutante director. I am extremely proud of the film and very about the way the film has shaped up.
The film’s trailer was really appreciated by everyone alike. What are your thoughts on that?
As I said, I am really happy that everyone is liking the film. We got very positive response for the film’s trailer.
You yourself are a director. So, when Ranjit was directing you, were there any kind of suggestion/s that you gave from a directorial perspective?
Yes, I did. But then, that’s a part of films. It’s not that only I do it. Even when I direct a film, the actors also give me suggestions, which I also incorporate. One can get the suggestions from anyone. Be it the production designer, the cameraman and even the costume designer.
What’s your take on the film Qaidi Band, which had been modelled on the same lines as Lucknow Central?
I have not seen the film. So, I really don’t know what the film is about.
Since music plays an integral role in Lucknow Central, have you seen any song in film?
No, I haven’t.
Your character in Lucknow Central is someone who one does not get to see in films that often. So, what kind of preparations did you do for the role?
In terms of the milieu, it’s a totally new milieu. It was a nice change for me to play somebody from a small town and that too from Uttar Pradesh. My family has a connection with UP and Lucknow, although not with the jails! (laughs).
Was there something that you learnt from the whole ‘Lucknow Central’ experience?
Yes. Lots. We got to know about a band called ‘Healing Hearts’ in Lucknow’s Adarsh Jail, who get invited to perform at weddings. Besides that, there is also an annual musical competition wherein all the jail inmates participate.
You are a film maker and producer yourself. If you were to look at the films today, there are many films which are not doing well. What do you think is the reason that the films are not working as expected? Is it because that we are moving away from our roots and the quintessential Indian connect?
Not necessarily. What we are understanding more and more is that there is a demand from the audience, which rightfully so should be, of telling them good stories. Film making is basically storytelling, but, in an audio visual format. Maybe, the aspect of storytelling has got a bit diluted. The audiences are telling that ‘We are spending a lot of money to watch a film in the theatres. So, give us something that’s worth our money and we can relate to’.