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Updated: June 1, 2011 17:11 IST

A verse appeal

RANJAN DAS GUPTA
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A NEW PATH Actor Naseeruddin Shah
The Hindu A NEW PATH Actor Naseeruddin Shah

MEET Naseeruddin Shah is excited about his latest experiment — reciting seven poems from “Gitanjali” for an album

“Reciting Tagore's verses specially from the Gitanjali is a challenge for anyone involved in recitation. For the first time I have recited seven poems from Gitanjali in English which have been accompanied by Tagore songs rendered sonorously by Usha Uthup for a special album” Nasiruddin Shah says during a telephonic conversation from Mumbai.

The actor most sought after by offbeat film makers is quite frustrated with the sort of films being churned out in Mumbai today. He has a short emotional outburst, “You were talking about Tagore. Why suddenly change the track towards inane cinema of Bollywood?”

A sincere apology cools him and he carries on, “I wanted to recite Tagore poems long ago as they convey eternal feelings and philosophies. Remember Sir Richard Burton reciting Coleridge's, Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner with gusto and aplomb? I don't know if I can ever equal an icon like him but have put in my fullest efforts behind the recitation.”

Coming back to cinema he mentions, “Do positively watch my performance in Michael, directed by Ribhu Das Gupta who was an assistant to Anurag Kashyap. It is his debut but he has done a splendid job and I thoroughly enjoyed working in Michael a film which unfolds a father, son relation with the backdrop of a psychological thriller.”

Produced by Anurag Kashyap, Michael is a realistic film which is about a senior cop, Michael, Nasiruddin Shah who has been dismissed on false charges. Shot on realistic locations of North Kolkata, Michael also stars Mahi Gill and Purab Bhandare. In fact, Marco Muller the director of Venice Film Festival saw rush prints of the film and was full of praise for the veteran's performance.

Except for cameos in Rajneeti, Red Alert and Saat Khoon Maaf why is an actor of Nasiruddin Shah's caliber missing on screen now? He smiles, “I want to concentrate more on theatre, an actor's true forte than waste my talents in worthless films directed by directors without conviction and commitment.”

Reminds Nasiruddin Shah, “Another film whose release I am sincerely awaiting is Rituparno Ghosh's, Sunglass. An interesting comedy it has me in the character of a dweller of antique clocks at Kolkata. He is one director I definitely want to work with again as not only he is accommodating but ready to experiment. My tragedy remains though I penned a three page letter to Satyajit Ray he never bothered to reply back. Working with him would have been a real dream come true for me.”

Keywords: Nasiruddin Shah

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