Following the release of Kutch Express, Manasi Parekh opened up to OTTplay and discussed a variety of topics, including her experience working with Ratna Pathak Shah, comparisons between OTT and theatres, and much more.
Last Updated: 02.13 PM, Jan 11, 2023
Manasi Parekh, who gained fame for her work on various Television show including Zindagi Ka Har Rang...Gulaal and Sumit Sambhal Lega, is gradually and steadily altering the Gujarati film industry. She just saw the theatrical premiere of Kutch Express, in which she plays the lead role and is also the co-producer. Actress Ratna Pathak Shah, who plays her mother-in-law in the moving family drama, makes her Gujarati film debut.
Manasi got candid with OTTplay post the film's release and shared her experience working with Ratna Pathak Shah, the motivation to work for Gujarati films, comparisons between OTT and theatres and much more.
Edited excerpts from our conversation with Manasi Parekh:
1. As I did not grow up watching Gujarati films, for audiences like me, what would you suggest the motivation to watch Kutch Express?
You should watch Kutch Express because this is a film that has been made like any other Bollywood film. It’s made without any compromise. It has the best of cinematography, production, design, performances and dialogues. It’s a film that talks about art, it’s a family drama talks about other beauty of Kutch and all of this is with incredibly strong performances by Ratna Pathak Shah, myself, Dharmendra Gohil and Darsheel Safary. It’s entertaining, artistic, absolutely fun and a great great watch which is why you must definitely watch this film even if you are a non-Gujarati because it also has subtitles.
2. Today, the content is the King and language is not, all thanks to OTT platforms because it is where it all began, but do you think OTT might eat up the charm that cinema delivers?
I do not think OTT can eat up the charm of movie theatre because a movie theatre offers a cinematic experience. A movie theatre offers an experience of watching a film which a huge community of people of going through the emotions of the film with other people which you cannot get in a viewing of OTT from home screen so watching movie on a home screen and watching in a theatre are absolutely different emotions and expressions and one cannot compare that to so I think of course OTT is here to stay theatres are here to stay as well.
3. As this is your second Gujarati film, can you please tell us the difference between working on Hindi film and Gujarati film?
I think working on a film or working on a web series or a television show, all of it boils down to the kind of people working with, the content that you are working with, your director, your co-actors. Now, Gujarati films have some incredible technicians, stepping into the industry and Hindi has its own charm, of courrse. Hindi has a wider reach, but in this age of the regional cinema, even Gujarati films are being lured by audiences across the world, so it's a great positive trend.
4. How was your experience working with Ratna Pathak Shah?
Ratna Ma'am, like her name suggests is a jewel. She’s a jewel because she’s an incredible artist she’s a jewel because experienced, veteran in theatre and cinema. She’s an exceptionally intelligent linguist as well. She is very very well spoken and working with Ratnaben on Kutch Express is one of my life defining moments because we were together for almost a month in Kutch and we had some intense scenes and we bonded exremely well through the shoots and the promotions. She says that she sees me and Parthiv (Parthiv Gohil) as her and Naseer Bhai's (Naseeruddin Shah) younger version and thats the best compliment I have ever got. I love her.
5. What according to you is the place of Gujarati cinema in today's world where competition is increasing day by day?
There is increase in competition not just in cinema but every mode of Entertainment and competition is good because it also means that everybody needs to work harder, mediocrity will be thrown out anyway and only projects and actors and makers who are above average and who are actually delivering different things will survive and with Kutch Express, we have definitely tried to do something different and every audience member has come out of the theatres, in the last 2-3 days has been raving about the film and the word is really spreading like wildfire so I must say that I’m extremely confident about Kutch Express as compared to the market as we have shown up Kutch like never before and we have shown the side of Gujarati Cinema that is never been seen before.