His fans have been awaiting his Hindi debut, and Prime Video’s series Farzi is worth their while. Featuring Vijay Sethupathi (also called Makkal Selvan) as the police officer on counterfeiter Shahid Kapoor’s tail, it showcases Sethupathi’s splendid timing with action and comedy. Bolstered by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s direction and Hussain Dalal’s crackling dialogues tailored for him, Sethupathi is set to enter a new phase of his career. After Farzi reintroduces him to streaming audiences who have seen him in largely Tamil movies so far, he will be seen in Sriram Raghavan’s thriller Merry Christmas with Katrina Kaif, in an ensemble cast in Santosh Sivan’s Mumbaikar, and the big one, the main antagonist in Atlee’s Jawan, opposite Shah Rukh Khan. Jawan will be one of the last films he will do as an unadulterated villain, and that is because he understands the global audience Shah Rukh Khan will take him to. He also has Gandhi Talks, a silent film directed by Marathi director Kishor Pandurang Belekar. Armed with a new producer friend as manager, Sethupathi has also decided to reduce the number of movies he does every year. So, expect to see three Tamil films and at least one Hindi film from him every year. Makkal Selvan (People’s Treasure) has every intention of becoming a national treasure soon, all with an unassuming but determined passion to show people how art reflects and re-energises reality. He doesn’t take himself seriously but he believes art can change reality. The last decade in Tamil cinema belongs to Sethupathi, who was an accountant in Dubai before trying his luck in Tamil cinema. Starting his film career as a background actor and playing minor supporting roles, he played the lead role in Seenu Ramasamy’s Thenmerku Paruvakaatru in 2010. Since then, there have been iconic performances such as Michael in Karthik Subbaraj’s horror film Pizza (2012), as Pondy Pandi in the romantic action movie Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (2015), as a gangster in Vikram Vedha (2017), as transgender Shilpa in Super Deluxe (2019) and, most recently, as Sandhanam, a drug lord and leader of the Vetti Vagaira gang in Chennai, in Vikram (2022).
Love Is All We Need
Mohabbat se hi to kranti ayegi (Love alone will bring a revolution). At a time of so much toxicity, women and love may well be the only things that will save the world. Much like Manmarziyaan in 2018, Anurag Kashyap’s Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat celebrates his own changed circumstances. “I keep going back to newcomers,” he told me, “I feel more secure there.” He adds: “They are so mature. So much beyond me. I am learning from them. I literally now bounce off my films and scripts with them.” As for those who have moved on, he says he sees himself as an enabler. “Looking at them being successful from far is more rewarding. And knowing they all still have my back is also reassuring,” he says, counting the new directors like Amar Kaushik, Anubhuti Kashyap, Vasan Bala and Abhishek Pathak. “Sab to mere hi hai /They are all mine,” he says. “They all either started with me or in my team or production house. I bask in the reflected glory.” And he seeks guidance from them as well as from writers such as Varun Grover and Somen Mishra. And with his enthusiasm and passion for cinema, he will remain forever engaged, curious and committed.
Scene and Heard
Parambrata Chattopadhyay is not only the grandnephew of the great director Ritwik Ghatak but also the nephew of the great writer Mahasweta Devi (whom he knew well and called Khukumashi). Which means he has to weigh equally the actor/director and writer in him. As a leading man in Bengali cinema and character/actor in Hindi cinema, he has to balance the demands of the two industries. Although he was expected to embrace Hindi cinema immediately after his successful Bollywood debut in Kahaani (2012) as Vidya Balan’s amiable helpmate, he didn’t find much that matched his sensibilities. Streaming has changed that, and he finds himself increasingly investing his time in telling stories in Hindi. The eventual aim is to direct in Hindi, too, as he does in Bengali cinema.
Anxiety to Stay Relevant Amit Khanna
Return to Greatness Zakia Soman
‘This Is Not Fusion’ Akhil Sood