He played a man beyond his age in Kapoor & Sons, and the film was a Superhit at the Box Office. Now two years later he has played an elderly man all over again in 102 Not Out and the Umesh Shukla directed film has emerged a Hit as well. For Rishi Kapoor, it has been a continued good innings in Bollywood as he keeps churning out different films with varied content while catering to audiences from his as well as current generation.
What is further remarkable about the film’s success is the fact that it has worked entirely on ‘dum’ of him and his senior partner Amitabh Bachchan with no cushioning whatsoever from any other younger or established star, either in a main role or even a cameo.
“A good film must work with an audience despite not having any usual so called commercial trappings such as a young hero and heroine, songs, dances, action, item numbers, villains etc. These are usually supposed to be the norms for the repeat value. We made 102 Not Out without any such norms and still emerged successful,” says Rishi Kapoor in a delightful tone.
While he has worked in his fair share of masala affairs too in his younger days as well as the current times, he can see the change already happening and has embraced it with open arms.
“If content based films are going to be encouraged by the audiences, then only will a change come about in Indian Cinema,” says Rishi Kapoor, “Otherwise we will keep churning the same lost and found, rich boy poor girl/poor boy rich girl, vendetta stories. I think we are headed in the right direction, what with a lot of story based movies working at the box office.”
The right release strategy helps too as 102 Not Out was targeted at the multiplex audiences in major cities and this is where it found maximum footfalls as well.
“We have to change our mind set that India is a single theatre autowala type going audience, thus catering to their sensibilities. Today by and large the audiences are far more informed of world cinema and they are exposed to a far wider spectrum. They have been wanting good cinema and we have to give it to them,” says Kapoor Sr. before signing off.
That’s true indeed and we look forward to more such cinema in time to come from veterans like him and Mr. Bachchan.