tv & movies

Rajkummar Rao: There is a real demand for stories from the heartland

Actor Rajkummar Rao plays a PT teacher in Hansal Mehta directorial Chhalaang, which will stream on Amazon Prime Video starting November 13.

Amazon Prime Video on Saturday released the trailer of their upcoming film Chhalaang, starring Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Saurabh Shukla. In the film, Rajkummar portrays the character of a Physical Training (PT) teacher in a small school in Haryana.

During the virtual press conference, the actor, who was last seen playing a Gujarati businessman in Made In China, spoke about the importance of playing relatable characters, and how characters from the heartland make for inspiring heroes.

He said, “Our audience has really evolved. They want to see real stories and real characters on screen. That’s the reason the new generation of filmmakers and writers are writing relatable stories and characters. The audience wants to watch such kind of cinema which is a great sign. We get to play a range of characters, and get to tell real stories from the heartland.”

Nushrratt Bharuccha, who plays a computer teacher in the film, also feels that because the audience wants to know stories of relatable people and people from the heartland, there is a shift in cinema.

She said, “When we did films where characters were larger than life and very unreal from what lives we live as common people, it had its own craze and fun. Then people wanted to go back to their roots. They wanted to know the stories of that person next door, or lives of our people from the villages. That is the shift that we see in our cinema now. So, even when these stories are smaller, they become more real and have a connect with the audience.”

Chhalaang is the sixth collaboration between filmmaker Hansal Mehta and actor Rajkummar Rao, and it is the first time they have attempted a light-hearted comedy. During the press meet, Rajkummar remarked that as Hansal understands humour very well and is a very funny person in real life, the experience of working on Chhalaang was fun.

Rajkummar also heaped praises on Luv Ranjan’s script and said that because the script was so good, he chose to play Montu Sir in the film.

“Luv (Ranjan) sir’s script was already there. It was so well written, and the characters were fleshed out so well. The whole world was there in the script. We just had to be honest with the script which we always do,” the actor concluded.

Chhalaang will stream on Amazon Prime Video starting November 13.

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