Shooting Midnight Delhi

Last two years have been the best 2 years of my life, if I have to account for the amount of learning that I gained. Even though I have a committed relationship with fashion, I had a great opportunity to work as an actor in an independent feature film named “Midnight Delhi”. I was cast for the role of a rural ‘jaat’ man and it was a 12 days shooting schedule in Delhi which worked fine as I had just decided to relocate back to Delhi and had time in hand to contribute to this amazing project.

The teaser has just been released and I had to talk about it.

Rakesh Rawat is the writer and director of the film and the complete project is his baby. Every character was cast for a certain peculiar quality they had in person which some how matched with their characters on text and also in the mind of the director. I was thrilled to just see how a film like this will be made. If you have seen the teaser already then you fairly know this is not the kind of film that relates to a happy bollywood feeling. The dark portrayal of the few clips that you see are not actually the give away. It is the story that one has to experience on the screen.

I was myself quite excited about the character. The language and the dialect of the character I played was close to home for me. He is a rural born and brought up young man, who has murdered before and if need be, he would do it again. The dialect the body language was very crucial to the character and Rakesh made sure I got the nuances right.

Catching the dialect and picking the body language was not tough for me. I have been often exposed to the rural, farming culture as those are my original roots. The trick was to try and understand the mind of a man who kills. I am a fairly peace loving person and to make my mind match the mind of a murderer, I created the story of the character which was not on text already.

I was put against people who were trained/experienced actors and pursued acting as a full time career. Because of that, I was slightly nervous in the start. Making the backstory to the character gave me a boost of confidence and a certain ease to approach my character. I only looked into what I had to do and didn’t get influenced by anything else in the environment. Infact, to some extent I felt responsible to make sure that the character came as close to real reference as possible.

The film was shot one year back and looking at the teaser just brought back memories of this very unique experience. Also, I realise that a film crew becomes a family for that short period of time that they work together. You start looking after each other and you become a pack, which needs each other to survive. This has happened to me in most of my jobs, when I am blessed with a great team to work with, we do land up becoming like a family. Sharing our food, catching movies after work, exchanging our favourite books, being there for each other even in personal matters.  However, on a film set people open up about themselves much faster and you organically become close to each other as you work and also stay together through out.

This experience was something I will always cherish and I only hope to see the feature film myself. With such real references and characters, I do want this film to find a larger audience. Not just because I have acted in it. I clearly don’t have the dreams of being a full time working actor. I want it to be seen because this is purely original work. Rakesh took 6 years to completely weave the story into a finished form. I have seen him give his soul to this project and the passion with which he approached and executed this film is inspiring. I am confident that it will be a film that people will talk about and remember. For it has all the right ingredients to be an impressionable work of art.

Wait for it.