Kay Kay Menon: “It’s Frustrating When Critics Don’t Understand The Compulsions Of Small-Budget OffBeat Films”
For 22 years the vastly under-used actor Kay Kay Menon has been romancing the fringes of Bollywood cinema with performances that define peripheral brilliance.
But Kay Kay is embittered by the absence of endorsement for his talent.
“Sometimes I feel I should just do the normal run-of-the-mill commercial films and play the filmy hero.I can do it very convincingly, I’m sure of that. It gets very lonely when one is perpetually trying to do something unexpected something out of-the-box. The critics judge the off-mainstream films by the same yardsticks as the big commercial films. That’s not fair.Only we know what odds we work against.”
Kay Kay is wounded by the lack of fulsome appreciation in his career. “Do the critics realize what it takes to go from Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd to Ram GopalVarma’s Sarkar to Shourya? Then you read the reviews and you see you are barely mentioned. Even for Haidar the critical acclaim was reserved for the stars Shahid Kapoorand Tabu. I was a mere incidental attraction. That’s why I am sometimes tempted to just play the star-centric characters, ” says KK without a wry laugh.
His latest film a thriller entitled Vodka Diaries is out in the market.
KK whose earlier triumphs range from Hansal Mehta’s Chhal to Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haidardraws attention to the nearly-insurmountable troubles he had to face. “We had a measly budget for Vodka Diaries and we were given just twenty days to shoot in Manali. We somehow had to complete the film during that time. When the snow-level fell we had to make do with whatever we had at our disposal and just leave.Do the critics realize how tough it is for us to shoot small-budgeted films? They judge us by the yardsticks of the big blockbusters and find us lacking. This is a really sad.”
Kay Kay feels it’s time for a more enlightened audience to respond favourably to a different kind of filmmaking. “In our country if an actor plays a negative character his performance is disliked. This is a very dangerous situation for any thinking actor. Sometimes I wonder I should just stop doing offbeat films and concentrate on mainstream entertainers.”