February 26, 2020
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Naseer: Not Enjoying Films Anymore

Thankfully, some things never change. Came across this recently. Naseer doesn't sound as bitter as he did in between, but is as frank and forthright as ever.

Inevitably, among other things, he's asked about Slumdog and says it was "a Cindrella story. The ethos were real.. the rest wasn’t. If they ever attempted a sequel to it and showed what happened to Jamal after he won, then that would be worth a watch," and speaks a bit about the Slumdog kids too.

It's the same irrepressible intelligence and sense of humour that shines through. Sample this: 

Q: Kamal Haasan is remaking A Wednesday in Tamil and will be playing your part.
NS: Okay, but why just mine? (Laughs) He should be playing all the parts.

Later found out that NDTV also had "the first couple of the first wave of new Indian cinema" -- Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah -- on their Bombay Talkies recently. As usual, ended up catching it on the web. Definitely worth a watch. He may say he's not enjoying films anymore, which is a pity, but he does still seem to be enjoying himself.

Some of the interesting things:  Talking about the "new wave" of the 1970s films: "The problem with the 70s filmmakers was that they were making films on esoteric subjects that they did not know too much about".

The film-making, he says, just did not move on. It got stuck..."In 99% cases, their first film is their best," he says, and goes on to name Shyam [Benegal], Govind[Nihalini], Kundan [Shah], Ketan[Mehta], Saeed [Mirz], Sudhir[Mishra], Vinod [Vidhu Vinod Chopra in this category. 

And then he pauses to add as an afterthought: "OK, not Vinod. Vinod is yet to make a good film,” while wife Ratna Pathak Shah shushes him -- but agrees with him overall. The couple are delightful together. When asked what was Vidhu Vinod Chopra's first film, he laughs and announces theatrically, "Sazaa-e-maut," and adds that it should be the title of  [VVC's] autobiography as well.

But, ironically, after having declared that for most of these directors, their first film was their best, he says that the only films out of the whole lot of 1970s that he at all cares for -- "they are the only ones that would stand the test of time" -- are Manthan and Ardh Satya [both second films, of Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalini respectively]

The interviewer, of course, did not pick on this, though Ratna Pathak Shah provided a perfect cue for it by adding that even Aditya Chopra did not make as good a film as Dilwale Dulhaniya...again but that of today's people she really is enthusiastic about Anurag [Kashyap] & Dibakar [Banerjee], both of whose second films are wonderful, she added ironically. I think she did mean the later films [unless she was talking about Black Friday for Anurag Kashyap] and that they have gone on to greater heights after their first film...

When asked to name his performances that are her favourites, she mentions Sparsh, Masoom, Monsoon Wedding, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, A Wednesday...and then adds, Bombay Boys which perhaps was his benefit as he agrees wholeheartedly. The couple are delightful together [She: 'Don't laugh at Tridev -- it ran our house for a long time']

Talking about Shyam Benegal, he say that even at the cost of hurting SB irreparably, he'd have to say that Manthan was SB's best film. And there is a very frank bit when he describes what happened between them: "I was a well-wisher till I was praising them. And...when I began criticising them, suddenly they said I was a traitor." Or words to that effect.

The biggest revelation for me was what he said about Khuda Ke Liye:  "the most significant film i have done in my life...With all its flaws, I'd call it a great movie and not only for its last bit."

It is at the very end of the programme when he starts talking about how the film "connected very deeply" with him as he was "brought up in an orthodox muslim ghousehold" where an old maulana taught him, "muslims must do this, must do that...Islam is the best religion..everybody else is headed for hell...the earth is flat...".

Naseer: Not Enjoying Films Anymore
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Thankfully, some things never change. Came across this recently. Naseer doesn't sound as bitter as he did in between, but is as frank and forthright as ever.

Inevitably, among other things, he's asked about Slumdog and says it was "a Cindrella story. The ethos were real.. the rest wasn’t. If they ever attempted a sequel to it and showed what happened to Jamal after he won, then that would be worth a watch," and speaks a bit about the Slumdog kids too.

It's the same irrepressible intelligence and sense of humour that shines through. Sample this: 

Q: Kamal Haasan is remaking A Wednesday in Tamil and will be playing your part.
NS: Okay, but why just mine? (Laughs) He should be playing all the parts.

Later found out that NDTV also had "the first couple of the first wave of new Indian cinema" -- Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah -- on their Bombay Talkies recently. As usual, ended up catching it on the web. Definitely worth a watch. He may say he's not enjoying films anymore, which is a pity, but he does still seem to be enjoying himself.

Some of the interesting things:  Talking about the "new wave" of the 1970s films: "The problem with the 70s filmmakers was that they were making films on esoteric subjects that they did not know too much about".

The film-making, he says, just did not move on. It got stuck..."In 99% cases, their first film is their best," he says, and goes on to name Shyam [Benegal], Govind[Nihalini], Kundan [Shah], Ketan[Mehta], Saeed [Mirz], Sudhir[Mishra], Vinod [Vidhu Vinod Chopra in this category. 

And then he pauses to add as an afterthought: "OK, not Vinod. Vinod is yet to make a good film,” while wife Ratna Pathak Shah shushes him -- but agrees with him overall. The couple are delightful together. When asked what was Vidhu Vinod Chopra's first film, he laughs and announces theatrically, "Sazaa-e-maut," and adds that it should be the title of  [VVC's] autobiography as well.

But, ironically, after having declared that for most of these directors, their first film was their best, he says that the only films out of the whole lot of 1970s that he at all cares for -- "they are the only ones that would stand the test of time" -- are Manthan and Ardh Satya [both second films, of Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalini respectively]

The interviewer, of course, did not pick on this, though Ratna Pathak Shah provided a perfect cue for it by adding that even Aditya Chopra did not make as good a film as Dilwale Dulhaniya...again but that of today's people she really is enthusiastic about Anurag [Kashyap] & Dibakar [Banerjee], both of whose second films are wonderful, she added ironically. I think she did mean the later films [unless she was talking about Black Friday for Anurag Kashyap] and that they have gone on to greater heights after their first film...

When asked to name his performances that are her favourites, she mentions Sparsh, Masoom, Monsoon Wedding, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, A Wednesday...and then adds, Bombay Boys which perhaps was his benefit as he agrees wholeheartedly. The couple are delightful together [She: 'Don't laugh at Tridev -- it ran our house for a long time']

Talking about Shyam Benegal, he say that even at the cost of hurting SB irreparably, he'd have to say that Manthan was SB's best film. And there is a very frank bit when he describes what happened between them: "I was a well-wisher till I was praising them. And...when I began criticising them, suddenly they said I was a traitor." Or words to that effect.

The biggest revelation for me was what he said about Khuda Ke Liye:  "the most significant film i have done in my life...With all its flaws, I'd call it a great movie and not only for its last bit."

It is at the very end of the programme when he starts talking about how the film "connected very deeply" with him as he was "brought up in an orthodox muslim ghousehold" where an old maulana taught him, "muslims must do this, must do that...Islam is the best religion..everybody else is headed for hell...the earth is flat...".

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