Ayushmann Khurrana: Mainstream is an abused word
Emerging as a commercially successful actor off a career built on 'non- massy' films, Ayushmann Khurrana takes on industry's notion of 'commercial' cinema
Sperm donation, erectile dysfunction and late pregnancy are not subjects one would consider suitable for the making of mainstream cinema. And yet, Ayushmann Khurrana — with a fan base that cuts across single screen and multiplex- going audiences — sits on a pedestal sturdily built by films tackling these subjects. Evidently then, Khurrana is in a position to weigh in on the industry's perception of what must qualify as mainstream cinema. If he has it his way, he'd rather do away with any label that segregates movies.
"The way we have defined mainstream cinema is skewed and discriminatory. Every film has its set of audience. That's the beauty of cinema, it is subjective, and evokes an intimate and personal reaction. It entertains like-minded people," says the actor, asserting that the perception of a select few industry folks on what qualifies as a " pan- India" film must be less binding. "[people are quick to] judge films which [cater to a] different sensibility, and that's discriminatory. I have fought this discrimination and will continue to do so throughout my career. Thankfully, my choices have proved that there is an audience for every kind of film."
In a tryst to meet the notion set by the industry on what makes for a massy film, Khurrana says filmmakers compromise on the "meaning and beauty" of a film. "Cinema is a medium [promoting] bold and creative expressions. We should celebrate everyone's work and be inclusive of ideas and opinions. Every film has a different purpose and it's great to have distinct and powerful voices. mainstream is an abused word. For me, mainstream cinema is any film that people love to watch because of reasons that are personal to them. The world has progressed to being anti-label and it's time our industry follows suit."
Set to feature in yet another film that wouldn't be labelled as typical commercial fare, Khurrana's Article 15 is set to tackle caste discrimination, and has him play a cop for the first time on screen.
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