Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Raj Singh Chaudhary unravel the world of 'Thar'


By Akshay Acharya Mumbai, April 30 : Spaghetti Western is one genre that India cinema hasn't expored much. The upcoming Anil Kapoor and Harshvarrdhan Kapoor-starrer 'Thar' aims to serve a delectable spaghetti treat peppered with thrill and suspense. Although the film finds itself in the umbrella of western genre, the milieu of the story is very much Indian as it brings together the local elements of Rajasthan infused with promising performances. In a recent conversation, IANS spoke with Harshvarrdhan, and the debutant director Raj Singh Chaudhary, who has earlier swayed the audience with his work as an actor in the Anurag Kashyap directorial 'Gulaal'. Revealing how the story was conceived and was eventually materialised, Raj shares, "As a writer and a storyteller, I wanted to say something. However, the story that I wanted to tell was meant to be unique. Since, I love western films, I have incorporated ideas from the west however with an essence after the local culture of Rajasthan. More importantly, we have shot the film or told the story in such a way that no one could say that it is a western film as it is entirely shot in Rajasthan." Shedding light on his character, Harshvarrdhan calls it, "very intriguing in nature" as it "has a lot of emotions held within". He says, "The film is very much of a character driven film. What I can see about the character is that he is someone who has come from the outside world to this place in Rajasthan." Commenting on the biggest challenge that he faced while portraying this character, Harshvarrdhan mentions, "As an actor my biggest challenge was to portray his emotions without expressing a lot in terms of words so it became a lot more about concentration and building the backstory for the character and deriving thought process from that back story. I have worked on my breathing and observation process while I spoke with people and looked into their eyes." He adds, "The interesting thing about this character is that the character is going around things in his own emotional stage and things around him are happening normally. As compared to 'AK vs AK' or 'Ray' where I had to play more extroverted characters which were more expressive, this one is very quiet." The character that has come out on screen derives its strength from association of Raj and Harsh as actor-director duo. Raj says, "I and Harshvardhan Vipul jammed and it was the material which demanded such a character and the character is as much as his as much it is mine." He continues, "When I wrote the first draft of this film, 'Mirzya' trailer had just been released. He was also shooting with Vikram (Vikram Motwane, for 'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero'). I had a lot of discussions with him as I understood him as a human being and who he is. Overall it is more of a combined effort of both of us ever since the scripting stage." For Harsh, who is also producing the film along with his father Anil Kapoor, 'Thar' has been a steep learning curve. The actor states, "It has been a great learning experience for me especially playing the character of Siddharth where he talks to someone about something but he is thinking about something completely different. I had to be honest with myself about the pattern and once you're honest with that piece of acting for a long time it shows on your face and that is something that I have learnt to build up that concentration, focus and discipline." For Raj, being at the helm of affairs for the first time came with a lot of logistical challenges, "The biggest challenge were the locations. I was adamant about the location that I wanted to shoot in. For instance, when the line producer showed me the image of the village where Harshvarrdhan walks in the trailer, that location was an 800-year old structure with no roads and in the middle of nowhere. We also had to build roads to get there to the location. The challenge was really to make it viable for production and for us to shoot there." The director ends the conversation on a praising note for his actor, "I feel that Harsh was very good in films like 'Bhavesh Joshi' and 'Ray' but I think 'Thar' is about Harsh's coming-of-age as an actor. Looking at him through the monitor, I felt that he has just blossomed into an amazing actor." 'Thar', produced by Anil Kapoor Films and Communication Network, also stars Fatima Sana Shaikh, Jitendra Joshi, Akshay Oberoi, Satish Kaushik and Mukti Mohan, and is set to stream on Netflix from May 6. /IANS


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