Malayalam audience has great passion for films, says Marathi actor Lalit Prabhakar
Lalit Prabhakar is a popular face in Marathi television and cinema. He shot to fame with the portrayal of Aditya Desai in the soap 'Julun Yeti Reshimgathi'. Lalit recently attended the 24th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala hosted in Thiruvananthapuram where his film 'Anandi Gopal’, directed by Sameer Vidwans, was screened. The movie is loosely based on the life of Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, the first Indian female physician. He played the role of Gopalrao Joshi, the protagonist's spouse in the film. Lalit started his career as a theatre artist and has also directed a few plays. Excerpts from conversation with Lalit.
How did you get into theatre?
During college days, I started acting in plays and was lucky enough to get associated with 'Miti-char Kalyan', a theatre group headed by theatre artiste Ravindra Lakhe. I was highly influence by him and acting became my passion. He moulded the actor in me and I am thankful to him for that.
About your entry into television industry?
Having done a few plays, I was eager to get recognized on other platforms. In the beginning, it was small roles but eventually I cracked the audition for the role of Aditya Desai in 'Julun Yeti Reshimgath', a Marathi language television serial. People could relate to this character as he was simple and less dramatic. This helped me bag a role in the movie 'Chi Va Chi Sau Ka'.
How would you compare Marathi film industry with south Indian counterparts?
Making a movie in Marathi is financially risky as it is not the first choice of Marathi audience. They prefer watching Bollywood movies. A few producers still go ahead and make movies in Marathi. According to me, the South Indian movie industries are blessed with audiences having higher film sense. Producers here can take risks and do experiments in mainstream cinema.
Do you watch south Indian movies? Who is your favourite actor in south?
Yes, definitely. I have watched movies like Vikram Vedha, Super Deluxe, Premam and Bangalore Days. Vijay Sethupathi’s method of acting is very attractive. And equally attractive is his humility and attitude towards cinema.
Do you have a political view?
I definitely have a political view. But I don’t endorse the activities of any political party. It’s common in Maharashtra that actors are lured to participate in political rallies. But I stay away from all of them.
How was your experience working in 'Anandi Gopal'?
'Anandi Gopal' was an amazing experience. Gopalrao was born into a Brahmin family but was a rationalist who realized that women in his community were not given even primary education. When he married Anandibai, his only condition was that his spouse should pursue her studies. I, being an atheist, could relate to Gopalrao and his way of thinking. 'Anandi Gopal' had two screenings in IFFI, one an open-air screening and another in a closed theatre which drew a large audience. The movie was screened thrice in IFFK.
Do you think Marathi cinema has evolved itself?
Many of the Marathi movies were based on 'Tamasha' (Marathi folk art form), post-independence. In the early '70s, director Dada Kondke entered the industry who created movies with a pinch of satire. But Marathi cinema saw a new wave with filmmakers like Dr. Jabbar Patel and Sai Paranjpye. 'Jait Re Jait' by Dr. Patel is a cult film. With exposure to international cinema, writers and directors are coming up with experimental storylines nowadays.
Given a chance, would you act in Malayalam films?
I would love to be part of Malayalam movies. The audience here are so passionate about cinema. I am ready to do anything for a role in movies here.
Do you think theatre has a future in India? Does the younger generation see it as a stepping stone to movies?
It’s a fact that a group of youth sees theatre as a sure shot to enter movies. My gut feeling says that theatre definitely will have the audience in future too.