Penning film that marks Ratna Pathak’s Gujarati debut, Viraf Patell says actor made his job easy
Parekh and Pathak star in the woman-centric film penned by Patell
Following a 12-year journey in front of the camera, The Verdict — The State vs Nanavati and Bestsellers actor Viraf Patell is expanding his horizons as a writer. His maiden Gujarati film, Kutch Express marks the first venture in the language that actor Ratna Pathak Shah will be part of. It also features Mansi Parekh in a woman-centric drama that sees the female protagonists tackle patriarchy.
It is owing to Parekh — who is co-producing the film with her husband — that Patel made his foray into Gujarati cinema with this venture that releases on January 9. “She asked me to test for it as an actor, and they eventually got me on board. Only when we had a reading session with all the actors did I get a sense of the whole script.” When shoots were suspended due to the pandemic, he had the chance to mull over the screenplay. “We put in several hours over Zoom, and came up with a revised draft. Kutch Express is about being courageous.”
Referring to Pathak as the master on the set who was “a source of wisdom and joy,” Patell says, “Ratnaben has poor tolerance to false notes while performing. She won’t let you lag in a scene. The most important thing I learnt from her was that it is not enough to be good in a scene. The scene works if your co-actor also performs magically. Her interest lies in getting the entire scene right, not her performance alone.”
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