interviewImaad Shah on acting and composing music in “404”
The beauty of acting lies in good performance. And good performance comes from rigorous training and discipline. Actor Imaad Shah says, “Delivering a dialogue is not an easy task. It takes tough training to play a character in film.” He was at PVR Gold at the Select CityWalk mall in Saket in the Capital to promote his latest film404 recently, accompanied by the rest of film's cast. He plays the character of Chris in this film. Imaad says, “This is a suspense and thriller film based in a medical institute. I Chris is a senior student at the institute. There is lot of charisma around my character. The film is very realistic and there is dark humour too.” He has his own parameters of choosing films. For him, he says, it is concept and content. Imaad says, “A good story and script prompt me to do a film. I read the script thoroughly and then decide to do the film.” He doesn't believe in the categorisation of cinema into mainstream, offbeat, intelligent and thinking, etc. “I believe there are only two kinds of cinema — good and bad. The audience knows what is good or bad. My idea of cinema is that which the audience can relate to.” Imaad also doesn't believe in a specific target audience. He adds, “Everyone is my audience.”
Being the son of seasoned actor Naseeruddin Shah, what lessons he has learnt from him? “I am part of his theatre group, Motley. We conduct workshops apart from the plays. Workshops are very tough. My father is my harshest critic. And it is very difficult to satisfy him. We work on the writings of Saadat Hassan Manto and Ismat Chugtai. We learn how to deliver dialogue and how to get into the skin of a character in the workshops. And the knowledge of Urdu is very important to deliver effective dialogues. My father has great command over Urdu, Hindi and English,” he replies. But he acknowledges the deteriorating importance of Urdu in cinema and the change in the language of cinema and dialogue. Imaad says, “Urdu is not getting much importance these days. But it helps an actor very much.”
The young actor has done five films so far. Besides, he's also composed the music for404. He had formed a music band, The Pulp Society, years ago. He also writes lyrics for his band. He says, “I have been performing in concert for many years with my band. When director Prawaal Raman heard my music he gave me the opportunity to compose music for the film.” His band, which chiefly performs punk and folk music, also draws inspiration from Urdushayariand the likes of Sahir Ludhianvi and Gulzar, he adds.