Actor Atul Kulkarni shares his thoughts on evolving subjects in cinema and throws light on his NGO, Quest
National award-winning actor Atul Kulkarni believes art is a product of the social, political and economic changes in society. The actor who is in the news for his work in the latest web series The Raikar Case, explains, “No art is ever in limbo. Our country has seen a lot of changes, especially since the liberalisation, and that’s what is reflected in the kind of cinema and content we are generating. It’s not like such stories (about the middle class and small-town people) weren’t being made earlier. But today, the audience for it is larger. Some of these changes are because of the democratisation and affordability of technology.”
Atul who has acted in a variety of films, including regional cinema, shares his thoughts on evolving subjects while speaking about the success of The Raikar Case and his recent films that have explored unconventional topics. The actor also talks about the basics of picking a film. “I look at it from the point of view of the audience. I analyse whether the audience will go to the theatre or switch on the laptop to watch a particular film. What drew me to The Raikar Case is the story. It’s not just a crime thriller, it also explores the complexities of modern relationships,” he says.
Although he has been in the industry for two decades now, the seasoned actor is quite open-minded when it comes to working with younger artistes and directors. “What I like most about young people is their confidence. They have no inhibitions and that’s a quality I love,” reveals Atul. Currently, under the lockdown, the actor is spending time in his village, Sonale, which is on the Mumbai-Gujarat highway. Atul runs an NGO called Quest that works with teachers and children from primary and pre-primary government schools. They work in the villages of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. “We train teachers and children to adapt to modern techniques of learning. So far, we have worked with 3,500 teachers and 95,000 students. Online classes are just one of the things we do. Our work is more pedagogical,” reveals the actor.
On the work front, Atul is busy writing the screenplay of the Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha and he will also start shooting two other web series with Nagesh Kukunoor and the makers of Baahubali once the lockdown is lifted.