Director-actor Satish Kaushik is happily giving Diwali celebrations at home a miss to be at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) for the Asian premiere of much-acclaimed film “Road, Movie”, in which he plays a wanderer.
“It’s a huge honour for our film to have made it to the competition line-up in TIFF. In fact ‘Road, Movie’ is the only Indian film which is running in the competition category that has only about 15-18 films in the fray,” said Kaushik.
While the TIFF starts Oct 17, “Road, Movie” will be screened Oct 21. Directed by Dev Benegal of “English, August” fame, the film is being described as ‘India’s Cinema Paradiso’ by critics from the west. It is expected to be released commercially in 2010.
Shot primarily in Rajasthan and Kutch, “Road, Movie” features Abhay Deol as Vishnu, who is a restless young man and is least interested in his father’s faltering hair oil business.
He hits the road with a travelling cinema and meets quite a few colourful and unforgettable characters, including Satish Kaushik and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
Kaushik plays a wanderer who seemingly knows everything about life and he brings some of the most light-hearted moments in the film. His performance in the film was much appreciated at the Toronto International Film Festival where the film was premiered last month.
“Give him any job in the world and my character is confident that he can do that. That’s his beauty. Even though this character laughs a lot, there is a lot more depth to him than what one perhaps misses out on the exterior,” Kaushik said.
Incidentally, just like in his last international venture “Brick Lane” (2007) where he got rave reviews for his performance, Kaushik isn’t seen as the funny man in “Road, Movie”.
“Somehow in Bollywood I have always been offered comic roles. However, I am being looked at differently when it comes to movies being made in the west. I feel proud of the fact that I did something differently in ‘Brick Lane’ followed by ‘Road, Movie’ and got so much of love, affection and respect from audiences and filmmakers there,” he said.
No wonder Kaushik is now seriously pursuing a parallel career in the west as well.
“First ‘Brick Lane’ and now ‘Road, Movie’ have really added a lot to my profile. It is heartening to see international recognition coming my way. I now want to explore further opportunities in the west. There have been good feelers so far and thankfully the kind of roles coming my way are quite important and lengthy.”
But he has no plans of leaving Bollywood though.
“As a director, I have ‘Milenge Milenge’ releasing before the end of the year. There is another subject that I am exploring...an announcement should be coming your way soon. These are busy days as both director and actor. I couldn’t have been happier,” he said.
Kaushik’s “Milenge Milenge” has Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in lead roles.