By Aditya Savnal. Posted on December 07, 2015
Though 'indie' cinema seems to be a buzz word these days, the seeds of this movement were sown in the early 90's by several directors who were trying to redefine the norms of Indian cinema through their body of work.
And Manoj Bajpayee was an integral part of this movement. While he is best remembered for Ram Gopal Varma's gangster classic Satya, Bajpayee also worked on a large number of unconventional films like Shool, Zuebidaa and Bandit Queen, that defied cinematic convention in various ways.
However, during the mid 2000's, the actor seemed to have lost his way and ended up being a part of several mediocre films like Bewafaa, Fareb and Acid Factory. But the actor seems to have turned a new leaf with Anurag Kashyap's Gangs Of Wasseypur, which helped him showcase his acting prowess as well as helped the audiences rediscover the actor they had fallen in love with post-Satya.
Since then, the actor has slowly but surely rebuilt his career with films like Chittagong and 1971. His work in Hansal Mehta's upcoming Aligarh is his best work in a long while & will help secure his reputation as one of India's finest actors.
At the recently concluded NFDC Film Bazaar 2015, the actor spoke to us about his journey, his views on the emergence of the new age Indian cinema and why it is a great time for Indian actors and cinema alike.
Bajpayee said the struggle which he and his peers underwent in the early years has helped pave the way for unconventional actors like Rajkumar Rao to be accepted. And with films like Hansal Mehta's Aligarh being made, the new age Indian indie cinema movement is finally coming a full circle. Incidentally, Bajpayee had also acted in Mehta's debut film Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar.
It was remarkable to witness the passion with which he spoke about shamelessly chasing young directors like Neeraj Ghaywan, Vasan Bala, Shlok Sharma and Devashish Makhija. Perhaps this explains the actors presence in several films helmed by first timers including Soumendra Padhi’s Duronto, Mukul Abhyankar’s Missing, Sanjeev Sharma's Saat Uchakkey and Rajesh Pillai’s debut hindi film Traffic.
The actor's enthusiasm and passion to support new age Indian cinema and directors is reassuring and if a similar enthusiasm is displayed by other actors, it can only help to make this movement even bigger.