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'Madras Cafe' was like being on a guerrilla operation: Siddhratha Basu

Indo Asian News Service
6 August 2013

Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) Siddhartha Basu is part of Shoojit Sircar's spy movie "Madras Cafe" and the television producer and quizmaster says acting in the film was like a "guerilla operation".

"It was like being in a guerrilla operation, with lots of hand-held camera work, natural lighting, sync sound, and constant improvisation. Shoojit is an intuitive and fast filmmaker, with an innate grasp of the medium, and it was enjoyable working with him and the Rising Sun unit," Basu told IANS.

Basu has produced a number of shows like "Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain" and "Kaun Banega Crorepati" among others under his company Big Synergy.

Since this was his first film, Basu had some reservations, the primary being him being able to speak in Hindi.

"My key reservations were that I think in English, not Hindi, and my grounding has been in theatre... Thankfully, my decades as a Dilliwala subconsciously kicked in to help with the Hindi language, and I was guided by Shoojit on playing it to the pitch he wanted," said Basu, who will also be seen in Anurag Kashyap's "Bombay Velvet".

Meanwhile, Basu's acting skills will be on display when "Madras Cafe" will come out Aug 23. The film has John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri in the lead roles.

Talking about how he came on board, Basu said that many factors, including his association with the director, known for making films like "Yahaan" and "Vicky Donor", prompted him to take up the offer.

"I came on board for a number of reasons - from a long personal association with Shoojit to begin with, as he began his career in TV with us at Synergy. And then, because he has a superb body body of work, which is poetic, earthy and realistic, even in ads.

"And then, it was the story and the subject - a fast-paced political thriller set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war, treated fluidly, with a realistic edge," he said.

Basu feels Sircar roped him in becuase he has not been exposed on the big screen.

"Shoojit sought me out and insisted he wanted me to do a certain role. You'll have to ask him why. I'm guessing he wanted a face with the right seniority, which hadn't been exposed on the big screen before, to play a power role. Maybe the authority I project as a quizmaster projects clinched it for him," he said.

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