As the digital space looks set for spectacular advances in content and quality, we catch up with one of its star performers, Naveen Kasturia, over a cuppa. The balmy weather, coupled with the steaming hot mug of tea in his hands, makes Naveen open up about his latest stint in the digital arena.
Assistant film director turned actor, Naveen Kasturia, is quite happy with Darbari Lal, his cop stint in the ALTBalaji show, Bose: Dead or Alive. He had first found fame with another web series, TVF Pitchers.
“To be honest, I really did not get much preparation time, as I was the last one signed on. Hence, I depended a lot on the written material, and on inputs provided by my director, Pulkit. Also, since I was not very comfortable with the lingo and diction of Darbari Lal, I would rehearse them overnight,” says Navin, who has acted in offbeat cinema, like Shanghai and Sulemani Keeda.
Revealing further, Naveen says, “It was quite a challenge, playing different age groups. My first scene was when my character was around 40; so the body language had to be different. They gave me padding and glasses, which certainly helped. We went up and down the age chain, starting with a rookie cop, and finally to a slowed down, 60 year old man in the last scene.”
“Creatively also, it was tough, as you could not really decipher what Darbari’s deal was, for, while on the one hand, he was certainly impressed by Bose, yet his loyalty to his English masters was above reproach as well. Also, what was really interesting was that while Darbari himself was quite a serious guy, doing his stuff, his language and mannerisms, added a humorous and light touch”, adds Naveen.
Do you think desi audiences have finally matured up to accept politically loaded content? Says he, “We have always got varied types of stories, which can be seen from our rich literature. Let’s keep films out of this argument. Also, I believe there are takers for all types of genres. The important point is you need to whip up a gripping narrative, as is the case with Bose, and it has done quite well.”
Naveen, who has acted in a number of short films (Half Ticket and Pure Veg, etc.) as well, says, “The biggest challenge in a short is same as in a feature, i.e., you need to be able to convert your penned thoughts into film. Hence, the casting, shooting and other departments need to be spot on. But yes, today, digital has given short films a market. They are no longer dependent only on exhibitors. I have a couple of more shorts in the pipeline, which should hit the World Wide Web soon.”
Like many film actors, Naveen too is staying away from TV, preferring the Web. “Small screen content is regressive. The Web, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to relate diverse tales in your own way. But yes; as of now, only sex comedies seem to rule the online roost.”
In closing, Naveen says, “Pitchers, season 2, will be out mid next year. It was a fun experience. Back then, we never thought it would become so big. We were just making a sincere product.” With that, he signed off.
We wish you luck in all your endeavours, Naveen!