By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: Rishi Kapoor, who plays Sonam Kapoor’s father in debutant director Nupur Asthana’s Bewakoofiyan, says he isn’t likely to be seen in any fatherly roles even for his own son Ranbir.
Says Rishi, “If you notice I didn’t play my own son’s father in Besharam. It is not vanity, just sanity. I can’t do the stereotypical father’s role. They don’t challenge me as an actor at all. So I avoid doing father’s roles. It’s just too unexciting. To my good fortune I am getting roles that do not require me to be the so-called father.”
Bewakoofiyan offers Rishi a rare chance to further a father’s role.
Says the happy actor, “In Bewakoofiyan there are only three main characters Sonam’s, Ayushmann’s and mine. The film gave me a chance to do something more than what we generally see fathers do in our films. Not that there is anything revolutionary or path-breaking about a father frowning over a daughter getting married.”
The versatile actor sees Bewakoofiyan as sign of the changing times.
“When I did the role of the lover-boys parental approval for my choice of soul-mate was very important. And if the lover-boy of yesteryears didn’t get the father’s blessings he had to elope with the girl. If you remember in Bobby I had to flee on the mo’bike with Dimple Kapadia. Now in Bewakoofiyan my daughter says, ‘This is the guy for me. You better accept it.’
Rishi Kapoor sees his transition from the rebellious lover-on-the-run in Bobby to the disapproving father in Bewakoofiyan as an interesting one.
“Today in Bewakoofiyan I am in the position that Pranji as my father occupied in Bobby. I’ve been working for the last 42 years. And look at how much has changed. In Bobby the parents tried to bully the lovers. One can’t do that anymore. In Bewakoofiyan the father has to accept the fact that his daughter is an adult and can take her own decisions on her own life, however concerned the father may be about his daughter’s lifestyle. Couples today work together towards achieving a common goal, whether it’s a house, or holidays abroad or whatever. The parents have little say in their children’s life.”
Rishi doesn’t interfere in his own children’s live in his real life.“They are independent individuals with minds of their own. If today I was to behave like Pran Saab in Bobby my kids would laugh in my face. Today parental intervention is permissible only to the point where the kids respect your opinion.”
Says Rishi, “I remember poet Pradeep’s song Dekh tere sansar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwaan kitna badal gayaa insaan in I.S. Johar’s Nastik. They were singing about how much has changed back then in 1950. They’re still singing the same song. We’re always complaining.”
Rishi plays a variety of characters in his forthcoming films.
In fact at this very moment Rishi is shooting in Chandigarh for Ayee Balaa Ko Taal Do. Says Rishi, “It is an ensemble cast with Shefali Chhaya, Divya Dutta, etc.It’s directed by Shubho Bhattacharjee who was the executive producer on one of my favourite film Do Dooni Chaar. I’ve been very lucky. God has been very kind. Even in the film I am shooting right now in Chandigarh I am the main character. To head an ensemble cast at this stage of my career is a blessing for me. I couldn’t ask for more.”