Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, who has previously appeared in Pakistani films like “Khuda Kay Liye” and “Zinda Bhaag”, says he will work in Pakistani films only when the relation between the two nations would be good. He feels that the Indian government should decide whether Pakistani artistes be allowed to work in India.
“It depend on the future circumstances whether I would work in Pakistan or not. I don’t know what circumstances will be there (in future). When I will get an offer from Pakistan in future, then I will look through the circumstances and then decide,” Naseeruddin said at a press conference at the fifth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival here on Sunday.
“I have worked in two Pakistani films. In last few years we went to Pakistan to do our theatre shows, but this year we were not able to go there,” he added.
Following the September 28 Uri terror attack, which left 19 Indian soldiers dead, the tensions between India and Pakistan has hit hard on the film industry on both sides of the border. Many Indian political organisations and artistes have opposed working with Pakistani artistes.
Asked whether the Indian government should think about banning Pakistani artistes from working in India, Naseeruddin said: “The government will decide what should be done in it. I feel that we should respect the government’s decision. Whatever the government would decide, that will be correct for me and if the government says no to Pakistani artists, than it’s obvious that nobody will work with them, not even me.”
Meanwhile, Naseeruddin, who has been a part of the Indian entertainment industry for over four decades, said in India, both “playwriting and screenplay writing has not evolved”.
“Nothing can be said about screenplays of our films. If we look at Indian films that are considered ‘brilliant’, 90 per cent of their screenplays are lifted off from somewhere. Rest of them are recycled from old films. Now we have become used to it and also like it,” he said.
Naseeruddin, who directed the 2006 film “Yun Hota To Kya Hota”, says he doesn’t have any intentions to direct a film again.
“I once tried to direct a film, but I will never do that. It’s out of my reach and a very difficult job,” he said.
About today’s younger lot of directors, he said: “This phase of Indian cinema is exciting, but it is in the same way as 1970s were exciting when Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihlani, Saeed Mirza were directing and Satyajit Ray was at his peak. That was a very exciting time. We thought that the world of cinema is going to change. But nothing happened.
“So it’s premature to celebrate. All of these youngsters who are coming out now are making movies which are not bound by those old formulae. They are trying very hard, not only filmmakers, theatre directors as well. Hopefully there would be some kind of improvement, but what you do with the audience addicted to the rubbish. They cannot do without it.”
(The writer’s trip to Dharamsala is at the invitation of the Dharamshala International Film Festivalorganisers. Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com),
By Sandeep Sharma