[ Chukhu Indu ]
On Friday, Bhediya, a highly awaited movie, especially for Arunachalis, will be released. The film has several Arunachali actors, including National School of Drama (NSD) graduate Paalin Kabak.
Interestingly, most of the Arunachali artists in the film share a commonality with the film’s director Amar Kaushik, who lived his childhood in the Mishmi belt of Arunachal.
Kabak got the role through an audition that had been held in Itanagar last year.
However, he said, “The people (Arunachalis) should not watch the film just because of the presence of Arunachali artists in it, but because it has a story to tell. The film is a story-centric film where the whole part of Arunachal Pradesh is reflected so nicely.”
It is learnt that about 80 percent of the tickets for the film have already been pre-booked at the theatres in the capital city.
Speaking with The Arunachal Times, director Amar Kaushik was all praise for the work done by Kabak.
“I want to portray someone from Arunachal Pradesh as the protagonist, and not someone from the mainland. He (Kabak) plays a substantial role in the film,” he said.
One can also expect Arunachali humour content in the film, he added.
Kabak said that he gave his best to his role “to make it more of a pan-India film,” and added that “one can expect an Arunachali temperament, added with a dark humour.”
Excerpts of an interview with Kaushik:
Chukhu Indu: What role is Paalin Kabak playing in the film?
Amar Kaushik: He is one of our main protagonists in the film, who is there from the beginning till the end.
CI: Can we expect humour in the film?
AK: People will love to see him onscreen. I lived in Arunachal Pradesh, and the sense of humour in the Arunachalis is very good. I just want to portray that in my film.
CI: Any additional crew members?
AK: Yes, crew assistants from Arunachal Pradesh, such as rapper K for Kekho, director Nyago Ete… initially he was assisting as the assistant director, and later I engaged him in cinematography. He is a very talented guy and will be the next face of Arunachal in terms of cinema.
This reporter also reached out to Kabak on the phone.
CI: Can you share how you got the role, and about your journey in Bollywood?
Paalin Kabak: I got my role after two auditions while I was conducting a theatre workshop back in 2020.
CI: Were you nervous during the audition?
PK: No, I wasn’t. However, I told Kaushik sir that meeting him was in itself an achievement for me.
CI: You debut with actors Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon and others – please share your experience.
PK: It was more of a learning experience for me. Besides acting, I also learnt about the work culture practiced in the mainstream movies, along with work ethics and professionalism.
CI: How do you feel when you see yourself on the film’s posters?
PK: Well, I am really grateful to the entire team for putting my picture on the poster. It is indeed a big achievement for me, I must say. The world will be seeing my photograph. I am just overwhelmed.
CI: Do you think the poster picture of you justifies the character you are playing in the film?
PK: Yes, it indeed has! From an actor’s perspective, I myself don’t see the poster as Paalin Kabak, but my character in the film, Jomin. The makeup artist has so beautifully done justice to the character I am playing.
CI: Any new assignments coming your way?
PK: Right now I am not associated with any of the assignments until the film is released. However, I look forward to getting new assignments.
During my shooting days for the film, I got a few offers – one from actor Naseeruddin Shah for his web series on OTT platforms, but I had to reject the offers.
CI: Any remark for the filmmakers of the state who see this film?
PK: Firstly, one should develop a film culture here in the state. Everybody here in Arunachal says that ours is in a budding stage in terms of films; but instead it is worse than being in a budding stage. We lack infrastructures such as performing theatres and, more importantly, film theatres too. We should develop our own craft and skills and should make our own market here. Even though our films are made, they are of no use without a proper market.
CI: Finally, what can the audience expect from the film?
PK: Humour for sure, and yes, the storyline. Arunachali actors ke liye mat dekho, kahani ke lie dekho.