How Pankaj Tripathi added so much value to our short film
Say NO to Corruption
It was almost 15 years back that we decided to make a film for Anti Corruption Bureau that encouraged people to directly report to ACB if any government official asked for bribes.
Mr Jeevan Veerkar, DGP ACB, Maharashtra wanted a film that was not very preachy but effectively communicated the thought behind the film.
After many rounds of discussion wit my associates Shabnam Siddiqui and Faizal, I decided to make a film that had no dialogues, as corruption had no language. It was tricky to shoot a silent film on such sensitive topic and we had to find an actor who could pull it off well. Pankaj Tripathi wasn't that well known then and a friend suggested I try him out. We weren't sure as we were confused whether to take a really well known actor or someone relatively new as film was to be released in theaters across Maharashtra.
But the moment I met him, I knew he was our guy. He had the range of emotions that could take our character from playing a victim to becoming a fighter.
It also happened to be my first film as a director, with exception of some music videos I had done. There were plenty hiccups, we over shot by an entire shift. The cost went haywire, but then Pankaj Tripathi stood there like a thorough professional without complaining once, shooting for 24 hours straight, fully understanding why this film was important to all of us.
The film that was supposed to run for few months in theaters was showed for almost three years and it still remains the only film of its kind. It also became an important film eventually because of the national anti corruption movement.
Not just because of the concept or the shot taking, but because of one man's acting who could put so much heart and soul in that character that audience could truly identify with him. He has reached today where he is not because of talent alone, but passion, commitment and discipline. And that's why actors like him will always matter.