Interview Marathi

Nothing black or even grey about Bucket List, says Sumeet Raghvan

In an exclusive interview, Sumeet Raghvan explains why he is so choosy when it comes to films and shares his experience of working with Madhuri Dixit Nene.

Keyur Seta

Director Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar’s Bucket List has been a hot topic of discussion ever since he signed up actress Madhuri Dixit Nene for her debut in Marathi cinema.

Actor Sumeet Raghvan has the honour of being cast opposite Dixit Nene in the film. As he confessed, he does not do many films, but he had enough reasons to latch on to this project.

Madhuri agreeing to work in Bucket List validates it: Director Tejas Vijay Deoskar

In an exclusive conversation with prior to the film's release on 25 May, Raghvan explained why he is so choosy when it comes to film roles and shared his experience of working with Dixit Nene. He also spoke of whether he would have preferred his popular web show, Jay Hind, to be released in today’s times. Excerpts:

Did you ever think that one day you would be cast opposite Madhuri Dixit?

We all dream of working with big actors like [Amitabh] Bachchan saheb. Actually I am not at an age where I start dancing in excitement (laughs). But yes, if you are paired opposite Madhuri, it’s a different feeling altogether.

More than that, it is the director’s vision. It’s not just about pairing. It should also look good. It shouldn’t look imbalanced. The whole credit goes to my director. But it’s a great feeling to work with a big star as well as a simple human being.

The Marathi [film] industry is so small that we all know each other by name for 25-30 years. Like the entire cast of Bucket List – Vandana maushi, Pradeep kaka, Shubha tai, Renuka [Shahane], Dilip [Prabhavalkar] kaka and Ila Bhate. It’s not like a Hindi film where everybody is from a different plane. But when Madhuri entered the project, she felt very much at home. It was like one big family. The film got shot while we were having fun.

Wasn’t told Madhuri would be cast opposite me in Bucket List: Sumeet Raghvan

What exactly is the film about?

It’s about a perfect family. It is about the things we take for granted after 20 years of marriage. Then the kids have the same tendency and they take us for granted.

There is nothing black or even grey about this film. Situations themselves are such that some distance or negligence arrives and that too not intentionally. Once Madhura finds a purpose in life and goes all out in completing it, then it is about how her family supports her and whether her husband supports her.

This is one part of Bucket List. But the major part is about completing your desires and wishes.

With Madhuri Dixit Nene during a promotional event for Bucket List

You started off acting in 1983 through the Doordarshan series Faster Fene. But you haven’t done many films. Are you very choosy when it comes to films?

Yes, I am very choosy. In fact, in all these years, this is the first time that four of my films will be released in a year — Aapla Manus, Bucket List, Welcome Home, which will be released in June or July, and Dr Kashinath Ghanekar, which will be released during Diwali.

What exactly do you seek in a film before saying yes?

There are many factors. Firstly, I need sound producers because they are the ones who see to it that the film is completed. No matter how much you jump out of creativity, if the financials are not safe then the project doesn’t go ahead.

Similarly, director, co-actors and even post-production people are important. You are not making a film to show at home. It should reach the people. So you need a firm exhibitor and presenter who will make sure the film reaches the audience. Hence, there are a lot of factors.

Of course my role matters to me. But more than the length, the depth of the character is important.

Coming to Faster Fene, what was your reaction after watching the new Faster Fene played by Amey Wagh?

It was excellent. I truly enjoyed it watching the new Faster Fene. It brought back a lot of old memories. And Amey has performed the character so sweetly.

You have also acted in a lot of television serials. What do you enjoy more — films or TV?

I enjoy theatre the most. I am an actor who has risen from the medium of theatre. So, I have a firm relationship with it. Basically I do television only for money. But to get creative satisfaction, I do films. And to get more satisfaction, there is theatre.

Bucket List review: A feelgood film with delightful performances from Madhuri & Co

You have also done Hindi dubbing for Hollywood films. How much did you enjoy this?

That’s okay. It was an arrangement I made when I didn’t have much work in the early 1990s. So that was just a stop-gap arrangement. It wasn’t my career. I used to do Hindi dubbing because I had to earn a living.

You had a show on the web called Jay Hind from 2009 to 2013. It did well at a time when online video content wasn’t consumed much in India.

The medium wasn’t so big then, unfortunately. In 2009, internet connections weren’t so fast. We only had 2G. It used to take four to five hours to buffer a 30-minute episode.

Do you wish it was released in today’s times? Any web-series in the pipeline currently?

No, I don’t believe in thinking that way. I believe in the moment; in the present. Whatever happens, happens for the good. We should just move ahead thinking this way. Yes, I am in talks for a couple of web-series right now.