Paresh Rawal has always combined his B-Town outings with his first love — theatre. Over the years, he has been keen that several of his plays be adapted for the big screen. In 2008, his Gujarati play Maharathi was made into a film. Now there is another of his favourite floorboard offering — Krishan vs Kanhaiya — which is Bollywood- bound.
The project also has him as a producer along with star buddy Akshay Kumar and former channel head Ashvini Yardi. With the film’s shoot almost over, Rawal is now planning a tour of the play to Russia. When a play is adapted for the big screen there are a lot of apprehensions as well as high expectations so we ask him…
Has the film turned out exactly like the play?
I can say that it is a sharper version of it. The play takes a look at beliefs, rituals and traditions in a humorous way. Its director Umesh Shukla has also called the shots for the big screen as well, so the thought process remains the same. As you have a screenplay for the big screen there are more elements included like music, songs, action... all this is needed for a film. Remember cinema is a medium of images while drama is a medium of words. So you have to make a film visually appealing as well.
But there is also an item number in it!
Yes... it has been done by Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva. When you perform on stage you can get away without all these trappings but on the big screen you need all this.
The film also has you take on the role of a Bollywood producer.
Yes, I have produced several plays as well as TV soaps. But producing a film is completely different. It’s not only the scale but also the way things are executed, as there is too much at stake. As an actor I am reprising the same character I essayed in the play.
You have always had this comfort factor with Akshay Kumar…
I’ve known Akshay for years. I have implicit trust in him. When you embark on a new project especially a joint production, you need to have mutual trust — how well your ideas are received and how the dealings are done. Akshay had seen the play and then we got talking about making it into a film. Even though he has been a producer earlier, this is his first venture under a new banner with Ashwini. So we had to be on the same wavelength.
Are any of your more plays big screen bound?
Yes, two more drama-based projects are in the pipeline. We are in talks with production houses.