As Patekar returns to big screen after five years with The Confession, director Mahadevan says internalised role in movie shows his range as a performer
The actor in the film’s teaser
Almost five years after playing the antagonist to Rajinikanth in Kaala (2018), Nana Patekar is returning to the big screen with The Confession. So keen was director Ananth N Mahadevan about collaborating with Patekar that he approached him with three scripts. “I had given Nana three subjects. He liked the script of The Confession, and said yes instantly. The film [depicts] how our society has sacrificed many values today, and how a man stands up for them,” begins Mahadevan. The film is based on a real-life incident that took place in a village in Kerala, in 1966, where a priest was at the centre of a crime.
In November, the director took the film on floors in Goa. The beach state, particularly its heritage structures, lent the movie the “old-world charm” that he was seeking. Mahadevan, who wrapped up the drama in early December, is pleased to see that Patekar’s dedication has remained unchanged in the 27 years since they last shared screen space in Hum Dono (1995). “Nana is passionate about his craft. He struck me as one of those studious boys in school who do their homework before they go to play. Every day after shoot, he would discuss the next day’s scenes. He wants to learn and explore despite being a veteran actor.” The movie — also starring Adil Hussain and Ashish Vidyarthi — was shot in a start-to-finish schedule. “It had to be shot in such a manner since Nana’s character ages from 50 to 75 years. We didn’t use any prosthetics. We had to film in one go as the graph works for the actor. If you break it and regroup later, there are many things to catch up on.”
For the director, the biggest win is casting Patekar in a role that is diametrically opposite to the fiery characters that he usually plays. “I didn’t want to repeat the angry, vocal Nana Patekar that we see on screen. He has been stereotyped. I wanted to show a new [facet] of him; he is an actor whose internal intensity hasn’t been tapped. In The Confession, his emotions are internalised. The silences speak more.” The thriller is Patekar’s first film since he was accused of sexual harassment by Tanushree Dutta, in the 2018 #MeToo wave.
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