Full steam ahead
Films, rugby, advertisements... Rahul Bose has his hands full.
Rahul Bose has decided to make a statement - "I am not a prop for actresses. That is what people have begun to think after Chameli, White Noise and 15 Park Avenue." In his next four movies, all of which should be releasing in 2006, Rahul will be the central character. The films themselves are an eclectic mixture. There's Pyaar ke Side Effects with Mallika Sherawat, The Whisperers, Kaalpurush and finally Kerala - a romantic comedy, a psychological thriller with just two men, Bengali art house cinema, and a period piece respectively. "I have chosen these films deliberately and consciously because I want to make a statement and I want to get back to doing films where I am the central character," he says emphatically.
Having completed four films and shooting for the fifth and gearing up for the rugby season ahead, Rahul Bose is a busy man. More so because he is doing his first product endorsement as a brand ambassador for Titan's new range of watches Xylys. "I agreed to endorse this product because their brand values agrees with my own values. They are not asking me to do something that I would normally not do. So it fits well with me," explains the articulate actor.
Is he a no-compromise man in real life? "No compromising means taking an ideological position. There core values that one must not compromise on under any circumstance but one can and should compromise on the small thing. That's what builds relationships. I wouldn't compromise on truth, justice and non-discrimination because these are the values that define me."
And these are the reasons that he has chosen to work for gender equality and be a brand ambassador for the Spastic Society of India. "I cannot discriminate against someone because of their gender or because they are spastic. What is heartening, despite increasing female foeticide, is the increasing number of Indian women who are becoming role models. Empowerment is not about competing with men or beating men. Women will be truly empowered only when they can lead their lives on their terms, without compromise!"
With all this passion for changing things, would Rahul Bose ever consider becoming a politician? Pat comes the reply; "I am not going to evade that question like others do. My answer is definitely but not right now. I am still finding out about India and about the role in which I can best contribute as a citizen and when I find a answer to this I will definitely do whatever I can."
The conversation comes back to films. Increasingly, many directors are drawing on literature for ideas and stories. An avid reader himself, Rahul believes that this is an indication of the paucity of original ideas amongst scriptwriters. "This happens when you do something like scriptwriting, or any other creative art, for a living. To me originality is very important as a director and scriptwriter because I don't do this for the sake of money." And this according to him also defines the boundary between art and commercial cinema. While we talk of crossover films and mainstream films waking up to the necessity of a good story, Rahul stands firm that the commercial and the art can never coincide completely in the creative arts. "Art done for money may or may not work. Art done for art's sake also fails. But ultimately, the latter gives more satisfaction to creativity." Point taken.
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