Star cast of ‘Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain,’ pose for a photograph during an interview with PTI, in New Delhi, May 15. (Shahbaz Khan/PTI)
Ekavali Khanna feels Indian cinema shuns mature love stories as the industry finds older couples at the center of a romantic plot a bit difficult to digest.
The 38-year-old actor, who features in “Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain” opposite Sanjay Mishra, says the society has conditioned people in a way that the elder generations are expected to behave in a certain manner that is “agreeable to their age.”
Khanna has worked in films such as “Kaun Kitne Pani Mein,” “Aur Devdas” and critically-acclaimed Norwegian film “What Will People Say.”
“There are so many mature love stories that have been very successful in Europe, even Hollywood, but in India, somehow I feel there’s this hesitation to explore that age group, especially in the context of romance. So I think with this film, our director Harish Vyas, is kind of breaking the mold.
“Also because we are socially conditioned that a mature couple is supposed to behave in a certain way. If they are going on a bike ride or holding hands, that’s considered to be very strange,” the actor told PTI in an interview.
Khanna plays Kiran Batra to Mishra’s Yashwant, who tries to rekindle love and romance in their long and listless marriage after taking his wife for granted for many years. She says the clarity of Vyas’ vision was a major factor in bringing the “real” story alive on the silver screen.
The director, who also wrote the story, adds the script played a major role in handling the subject with “maturity.”
“Age changes a lot. I have changed a lot as I have grown old. Here, I was supported by a stellar cast who brought along their experiences into their characters. About the story, I’d say that it was written in flow…
“I feel maybe I’ve lived with characters like these all my life,” he told PTI.
Citing similarity with “Dum Laga Ke Haisha,” that love comes in all shapes, sizes and forms, Vyas says people need to view romance in larger terms.
“There will be all sorts of romance between people of different shapes and sizes, ages, love is everywhere. It will not just be between two great looking people.”
The filmmaker believes the film industry should revisit the idea of “who” or “how” a hero should be.
He says due to the stereotypical portrayal of a hero figure “we not only end up making less films but also are able to tell less stories.”
“When the writer has decided that this is how his hero is supposed to be or else a commercial film won’t work. Then stories don’t flow.
“I feel, in our films, the character should become a hero after undergoing a process. The part should not be a hero from the outset. If we start doing this I feel we’ll start putting out better stories with more range,” he says.
The film also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Brijendra Kala, Anshuman Jha and Shivani Raghuvanshi.