Art & Entertainment

Kalki Koechlin: OTT Is Not Just Pure Entertainment, Audience Now Ready To See Mature Content 

Kalki, whose film ‘Goldfish’ is all set to have its premiere at the Raindance Film Festival, talks about the changing taste of audience in terms of content. 

Actress Kalki Koechlin
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Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin starrer ‘Goldfish’ received a heartening response at its World Premiere at 27th Busan International Film Festival in October. Next up, on November 5, the film, an English-language-feature directed by Pushan Kripalani, is slated to have its European Premiere at BAFTA and OSCAR qualifying 30th Raindance Film Festival. 

In ‘Goldfish’, Deepti and Kalki play the lead roles of mother and daughter, and the film deals with memory and identity. Kalki’s character Anamika, a child of a mixed marriage, returns home to her estranged mother Sadhana because she is suffering from the onset of dementia. 

Elated with the response at Busan, Kalki, in a conversation with Outlook, said, “What really moved us was the number of people who said that they wanted to call their mothers after watching the film. Most of the time, we take our parents for granted and this kind of reminds you that they would not always be there.”

Since ‘Goldfish’ is being seen by an international audience, is there a difference in the way people in India and abroad perceive content? To which Kalki asserted, “I think that there is an audience for such a film in India too. It might not be your mass audience, but there are people who would want to watch a film like ‘Goldfish’. Dementia is now a huge topic, and we have quite an ageing population in India and this dilemma of the kind of responsibility we want to take for our parents, is common in Indian families.”

Kalki further said that with the advent of OTT, the audience is now keen to see more diverse content. “The accessibility to watch more content is now easier because of OTT platforms. As the world starts to open, people start to understand each other’s cultures. At the same time, realise that we are not so different from each other despite the cultural nuances and belief systems that are different. ‘Goldfish’ is a universal subject, it is about facing our own identities, facing the disagreements we have within our families and closed friend circles.”

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Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin in a still from Goldfish Films PR

She added, “With OTT, there is content out there that has mature subjects. It is not just pure entertainment, and people are ready to talk about things which are slightly uncomfortable or make us think about life. It’s a great time to be an artist as well.”

Apart from Deepti and Kalki, the film also stars the prolific actors Rajit Kapur, Gordon Warnecke (lead in ‘My Beautiful Laundrette), and Bharti Patel (Featured in BBC series Doctors) in pivotal roles. 

In the film, Kalki’s character Anamika returns to a neighbourhood she barely remembers, to a woman who sometimes doesn’t remember her. So, how did Kalki – known for her fabulous acts in ‘Dev D’, ‘Margarita with a Straw', ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara', and ‘Gully Boy’ – step into a role which is emotionally charged?

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Kalki Koechlin and Deepti Naval in a still from Goldfish Films PR

When asked, Kalki replied, “Both mother-daughter are completely in the dark about what to do. The preparation I had to do as an actor was two-fold. One was the identity crisis that I had to deal with. Anamika is a girl who calls herself Anna, and rejects her Indianness. She is very British and almost cold in the way she handles her emotions. The second aspect was being comfortable with this Cambridge-Oxford accent. Especially for the scenes with heightened emotions, I had to make sure the accent does not slip away.”

Last but not the least, Kalki showered praise on her co-star, veteran actress Deepti Naval, and said, “She is a versatile actress, and is extremely spontaneous. So while we were rehearsing, she did not give her full performance. When the take happens, something totally shocking comes out. So that’s wonderful to have around because you are jolted as an actor. That makes you a better performer because you are reacting in the moment.”

Set in London, ‘Goldfish’ is a UK production and is produced by Amit Saxena’s Splendid Films (USA) and executive produced by Pooja Chauhan.  

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