BY RENU MEHTA, TORONTO:
Kapil Sharma attended the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that took place from September 8 – 18 and took Toronto by storm. He was in town for Nandita Das’ film – Zwigato – that premiered at the festival. The well-known actor who has his own popular show in India – The Kapil Sharma Show – played the lead role of Manas in the film characterized as a driver for a food delivery app call Zwigato.
The film set in Bhubaneshwar, is the story about the trials and tribulations of Manas who loses his job as a factory-floor manager during the pandemic and becomes a delivery driver. With a familiar rectangular backpack, he zips around the city on his motorcycle, with little to show in terms of revenue at the end of the day. He continually struggles to make ten deliveries during the day for which he is paid a meagre amount and exerts to increase his ratings. To help make ends meet, when his wife Pratima (Shahana Goswami) applies for a job as cleaning staff at a mall, Manas isn’t pleased. It doesn’t take long before the strain of his daily grind begins to take a toll.
Sharma, renowned for his comedic quips and timing at humour, had a serious role in the film. He gives the credit of the film to Das, calling her a magical woman. When asked, why he was chosen for such a serious role, he said he had asked Das the same question.
“I asked Das why me,” said Sharma. “She said you have a very common face.” To which Das laughingly retorted –“I didn’t say that. He is paraphrasing everything that I said.”
“It’s completely an honour working with Nandita. Such a genius, mad girl she is. Thank you, thank you once again,” he said.
“When Nandita asked me to do the film, I said yes, because I knew if she does something, she will do with passion,” said Sharma. “As I said before, she is mad with whatever she does. People actually ask me why you are doing such a serious role. I just want to tell people that comedy happened accidentally because nobody was doing good so I started. Seriously I’m blessed that I’m working with Nandita. I never even thought that one day she would meet me. For me, it’s a great opportunity to work with her.”
Sharma, who came across as humble and humorous, when replying to audience questions, said he did not do much work on his character.
“I will not lie. Like an actor says I went to Goa and locked myself for 30 days. I didn’t do anything because I work on TV and I arrived just one day before the shoot. But I come from a very humble family and from childhood, I have worked with all kinds of people. My father was a policeman and they don’t have any official holidays. Police is a thankless job, no leave and around us we had seen a lot of people who worked very hard. I have not done this work before, but I have done a lot of small jobs for pocket money. These characters are with my journey and when they gave me the clothes that go with the character, helmet, it all came together,” he said.
“Also when the captain of the ship has a clear vision and Nandita is such a good actor herself and does not allow anyone to overact. I want to give the whole credit to Nandita for the film.
“And also till I got married, I had never been a husband. There is always a first time for everything.”
“I knew you would surprise yourself,” said Das to Sharma.
“In the movie, not only are we talking of gig economy but she (Das) touched so many things that are relevant and I’m so proud of her. And I never knew I’m such a good actor,” laughs Sharma.