Harshvardhan Kapoor on 2 years of Bhavesh Joshi Superhero and the upcoming Abhinav Bindra biopic
The actor looks back at the journey of Vikramaditya Motwane’s vigilante superhero film
Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi Superhero completed two years this week. Released in 2018, the vigilante action film starred Harshvardhan Kapoor as a homegrown superhero fighting the water mafia in Mumbai. The film was produced by the now-defunct Phantom Films and written by Vikramaditya, Anurag Kashyap and Abhay Koranne. A box-office disappointment upon release, the film garnered an encouraging second-run on Netflix (it was also screened at the Neuchatel Film Festival in South Korea).
Harsh spoke to us about the film’s devout fanbase, the possibilities of a sequel, filming the extended action sequences and his upcoming biopic on Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra.
How do you look back at the journey of Bhavesh Joshi Superhero?
Considering it was my second film, to be thrown into an environment where the character goes through so many emotions and a 90-day shoot spread over such a long period was difficult. Shooting films in Mumbai is never easy, and shooting an outdoor action film is even harder. It was also a film that deals with complex emotions. In all, it was an experience I will always remember.
The action set-pieces continue to be praised…
I am not a very skilled martial artist. For the training montages, I was practising that choreography for a long time. Vikram wanted to keep it real and shoot it in one take. We had an incredible action director and crew. Even if you pause and watch the bike chase as a single piece, it's phenomenal. My personal favourite, though, is the pipeline fight. It's a blend of performance, emotion, cinematography and Vikram's craft coming together wonderfully.
The most common criticism was against the film’s templated structure. The vigilante beats didn’t feel original.
I think that’s a fair point of view. When you are making a film that’s already so different for our cinemas, you try to keep the narrative simplistic. But despite the troupes and templates, I felt we had some massive themes. Also, when a story is simple and easy to follow, the technical merits really shine. I don’t think a plot needs to be too complex or convoluted or non-linear for it to work.
Do you think Bhavesh Joshi Superhero was better suited for OTT?
Before the release, I knew it would be difficult for the film to make money but people would definitely pay attention to it. But I didn't expect this to snowball and become what it is today. Though the film is underwatched, many have connected with it and I always felt that a platform like Netflix was better suited to the film. I am so thrilled to see the fans take it upon them to do vlogs, edit videos and fanart...it doesn't happen for so many films.
Have there been talks for a second instalment?
Vikram always made the film as an origin story to take the series forward. Obviously, the numbers didn't come, so that kind of derails you, but now with the digital success there is a possibility of a sequel. I don't think anything was written, but Vikram recently made a film called AK Versus AK, where I have a small cameo. At the wrap party, I asked him about the sequel, so I guess something might happen. But right now, it’s a wait-and-see.
What stage is the Abhinav Bindra biopic at the moment?
The pre-production is still on. We have Heeraz Marfatia and Saiwyn Quadras who are writing the new version of the screenplay. They have been working on it during the lockdown. That film will be shot in 2021 and also released theatrically the same year.