Indian cinema shouldn't be remembered just for Salman Khan films, says Naseeruddin Shah
The veteran actor spoke on the sidelines of the Jio MAMI Film Festival, where his short film Rogan Josh was screened
Naseeruddin Shah believes cinema serves as a record of times and he would not want the audience to look back at 2018 as the phase of only one kind of cinema. The veteran actor says cinema is for posterity and hence he takes it as his responsibility to do as many socially-relevant films as possible.
"I feel that cinema can't change society or bring about a revolution. I'm also not sure of cinema as a medium of education. Documentaries can be educative, not feature films. People see them and forget. The only serious function films can serve is to act as a record of their times."
Naseeruddin says it's for this reason that he chose to work in films like A Wednesday or his recent short film, Rogan Josh, set in the aftermath of 26/11 attacks.
"I consider it my responsibility to be part of such films. All my serious works are a representative of their times. Cinema will survive. These films will be seen 200 years later. People should know what the India of 2018 was like. They shouldn't end up seeing only Salman Khan films 200 years later. India is not like that. Cinema is for posterity."
Rogan Josh by Sanjeev Vig, features the veteran actor as a celebrated chef at The Taj Hotels who invites his family and friends home for dinner to celebrate his birthday. The dinner table conversation meanders to the shared experience of 26/11 and questions the quality of their existence after the life changing event.
The 68-year-old actor says he is always keen to work with young people who are struggling against odds to make what they believe in. "If there's a young man trying to make a song and dance film, I wouldn't give him a second. But here was a young man trying to make a film on a subject he believes should be made. I am totally for first-timers. I always listen to them seriously. I have done so many films with first-timers and I've never regretted it."
Rogan Josh was screened at the 20th edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Naseeruddin, who has worked in a couple of short films, says the medium is absolutely liberating for budding filmmakers.
"The great thing about short films is that there's no pressure of producers sitting on these filmmakers' heads and telling them who the hero should be and what kind of songs to use. They have the freedom to make the kind of film they want to make without the worry of box office."