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Upbeat, not offbeat



Rahul Bose with Sanjay Suri and Shayan Munshi in "Jhankaar Beats". Photo: S. Subramanium.

HE IS ill at ease with the concept of formula films. Yet Rahul Bose is in New Delhi to promote the not so offbeat "Jhankaar Beats", in which he stars along with Sanjay Suri, Rinkie Khanna and Riya Sen.

"It doesn't break the mould but relies on fresh humour, the warmth and a kind of zippy energy with which it has been directed. It has subtle humour with no insight, no message or irony," Rahul informs nonchalantly.

Years after his debut in "English August", one feels that he has finally ventured into mainstream cinema. "It is not an out and out mainstream Hindi movie, nor is it a totally offbeat movie. I think it will create a slot of its own," believes his co-star Sanjay Suri who, much like Rahul, is fascinated by the tunes of the immortal R.D. Burman.

"It's not about slots. I have worked in mainstream movies such as "Thakshak" also. I look for the story, the role and the director before signing a movie. I don't want to do anything I have already done before," emphasises Rahul.

"I try to create new challenges for myself to see where is the end of my versatility. I might fail sometimes. I don't think I was able to do justice to my role in `Bombay Boys' or in `A Mouthful of Sky'. But then I examine, learn and move out. I can't afford to sit and brood," says the actor, whose amazingly straightforward, down-to-earth approach is the only thing that can surprise you more than his candour.

"`Jhankaar' was a challenge as it was the first time I had the chance of playing a comic and a musician. I play the part of a drummer who is a member of this Indipop group trying to win a local music competition called Jhankaar Beats. The movie essays one year in the life of these aspiring music contestants," says the actor, director and scriptwriter of a few of the most unconventional Indian films.

Watch his directorial debut "Everybody Says I'm Fine" or the internationally and critically acclaimed "Split Wide Open" and "Mr. And Mrs. Iyer", and you will know why he is so different. "Mumbai Matinee", a movie about the comic adventures of a sex obsessed virgin and "Ek Din - 24 Hours", where he plays a cameo are his upcoming ventures that might cast more light on him. And for those who want more of him, there is a two man psycho thriller coming up by the name of "Whisperers" and a yet untitled film that he plans to direct in America.

Lets' see what difference these projects make in the world of entertainment, where familiarity often breeds contempt.

S.M. YASIR

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