Screen + Sound + Stage
Text and video interview by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena
01:34 Gangs of Wasseypur (1 & 2)
07:21 Mirzapur (1 & 2)
11:25 Criminal Justice & Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors
14:41 Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
Under the previous cinematic regular, earlier than streaming platforms broadened the pantheon of star performers, Pankaj Tripathi could have continued to ably play his half as an underestimated supporting actor. But, in the previous couple of years, he has earned the highlight as a much-loved and critically acclaimed participant and just lately even toplined a “solo hero” movie, Kaagaz.
The actor’s wide-ranging performances – be it in motion pictures like Gangs of Wasseypur I and II (2012), Stree (2018), Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2020) or internet collection like Mirzapur (2018, 2020) and Criminal Justice (2019, 2020) – all display the National School of Drama graduate’s philosophy of constructing the “maximum impact with minimum melodrama”. The 44-year-old Tripathi exudes a quiet confidence and owns any area he steps into; in entrance of the digicam, he usually punctuates scenes with silent, emotive pauses, emphasising the dialogue’s subtext.
His well-honed potential to mine the human expertise brings an understated depth to every character. This high quality is partly grounded in his humble upbringing in Belsand (a village in Bihar) and his early struggles, which have maybe additionally influenced his unpretentious mindset of viewing each casting as a chance to fine-tune his craft, no matter display screen time. Take the instance of Rudra Bhaiya in Stree. When capturing commenced, Tripathi had felt his function wasn’t very substantial, and he simmered with frustration for a few days, questioning what he was going to do on this movie. But he carried out his pure comedic abilities to flesh out the character and make his cameo memorable – a clip of his improvised satirical one-liner about Aadhar even ended up going viral. “One usually finds humour in the more serious aspects of life. The actor should not have to bend over backwards to demonstrate his effort,” he says.
Tripathi’s model of masculinity broadly conforms to conventional values, but it’s introspective and always evolving; it exists in a cinematic gray space that hasn’t been absolutely explored. For him, appearing is a cerebral pursuit. The layered portrayals of Indian “manhood” that outline his filmography have been formed by a deep curiosity about his environment and interpersonal relationships, and every character turns into a medium of self-growth. “You can’t change the world,” he displays. “You can only change yourself.”
Videography: Joshua Navalkar
Styling: Vineet Chauhan
Video enhancing: Mallika Chandra and Wamika Gera
Subtitles: Yooti Bhansali