Umesh Kamat became a household name with his portray of Abir and Om in popular Marathi television series. Umesh has also been doing Marathi films like Time Please, Pune via Bihar,and Lagna Pahave Karun. His upcoming film Balkadu is based on the ideologies of Balasaheb Thackeray, one of the most prominent socio-political figure in Maharashtra. The film releases on 23rd January on the birth anniversary of Balasaheb.
Umesh spoke about his role and his upcoming projects in this interview.
Umesh, what was your reaction when Balkadu was offered to you?
When Atul Kale, director for this movie asked me for this role I was very much apprehensive. This is an enormousresponsibility to portray such an iconic role. We all know what Balasaheb meant to every Maharashtrian. However, when we started shooting, all the anxiety slowly wore off. The more I started knowing Balasaheb, It gave me different type of emotional and mentalstrength. This role actually gave me a boost of confidence.
Tell us something more about this cinema.
We have done our work sincerely now it is up to the audience to decide the fate of the film. I am positive that people will like this film. The film showcases thoughts and ideologies by Balasaheb. Balasaheb is still with us through his beliefs and values. Audience can once again get to know this persona and interact with him, experience his larger than life personality. The film has tried to recap what Balasaheb has given to every Marathi Manoos. This is not a biopic or a film based on him. It is an entertaining film with a message. Balasaheb fought his entire life for the betterment of Marathi community. So I hope all of us will enjoy this film.
How was your experience working with Neha Pendse?
Very nice. She is a very professional actress. We had a good rapport for this film. As everybody wanted to work his or her best, So all other things were secondary.
Film is releasing this week. How do you feel about it?
Excited, energetic and confident all at the same time!All this I have received from Balasaheb. He gave confidence and inspired every Marathi person. Working for this film has given me a rare lifetime gift, no matter what is the situation in front of me, I will not be lamenting. Instead I will battle that situation. I will be ready to overcome all my weaknesses. I am very much eager to get the feedback from the audience.
How was your experience working with Atul Kale?
He is a very talented and focused director. We were working together for the first time. But we were on the same wavelength. We respected each other’s working style. Atul himself being an actor can understand the nuances of the performance. So it was very easy for me as well. He never told me what to do, he just guided me about what not has to be done, rest was up to me.
What you would like to tell the audience about this film?
I just want to reiterate that every person who has loved Balasaheb should go to cinema-hall to watch this movie. The film is entertaining and yet very inspiring. The film oozes out the self-reliance required for every Marathi person.
What are your upcoming projects?
Right now I have concentrated only on Balkadu. Shooting has been completed for a film PG and is in post-production stage. This might be released in April. I will start working on onemore untitled project very soon.
Umesh, thanks for your time.We wish you a very successful release and we are also sure that this film will be watched by audience again and again.
Interview By Pradnya Mandhare.