Bollywood and TV actor Rohit Roy, who is known for his work in ‘Swabhimaan’, ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’, ‘Kaabil’ and ‘Mumbai Saga’, is set to make his international debut with the techno thriller feature ‘IRaH’ helmed by Sam Bhattacharjee.
His character in the film is a manipulative, narcissistic CEO of a tech company, who creates an AI-based application – IRaH 5.10 , through which a person can effectively achieve immortality by archiving oneself.
Talking about the novelty of the idea, Rohit says, “Honestly, the idea of the film itself is the hero. I’d say that’s the main hero of the film and it’s a very intricately woven script so there’s not much I can reveal at this point. Every scene opens a new door into the psyche of the main characters and the novelty of the idea was what in the first place attracted me to the film.”
WIth a concept as tout as this one and the resultant performance, the actor considers it one of his best works on celluloid, “I think this is probably one of my best works on cinema and I say this with all the critique that I can give myself. I think the whole credit for my work will go to the script and to the novelty of the idea.”
For director Sam Bhattacharjee, the story presents a powerful case of what could happen in the near future given the reliance of human beings on the virtual world. He says, “The world has gone digital and there are new types of crimes which virtually affect our life. To be honest we now interact with a screen more than with someone face to face. ‘IRaH’ tells the story of the present world. It’s a thriller which raises a lot of questions and awareness of our near future.
Rohit calls the film a huge responsibility as it’s his first international project, “To play the central character in a film like ‘IRaH’ means a lot to me. It’s a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and to carry a film like this, which is so intricately woven, becomes very difficult to keep track of. Of course there were improvisations on the set and the credit for that goes to the director. He was very open to all sorts of suggestions, in fact the end which according to me is the most important part of the film.”
He also reveals the extent of improvisations on the sets, “The director actually came up with the end while we were shooting so that rarely happens in a locked watertight script like ‘IRaH’, but the idea was so good that all of us agreed immediately saying that should be the end of the film, earlier it was ending very differently.”
“I will not say much about it, but the experience was absolutely awesome and also shooting in London has its own charm. The locations were fantastic, the crew was excellent so everything was an added plus. It was great working on the film”, Rohit adds.
The journey for Sam on this film has been a tricky one as his script had leaked initially but the director is happy that it all came together perfectly.
He mentions, “The script initially got leaked, and we had to redraft. Rohit perfectly suited the role of Hari and it was great working with him, overall it was a fantastic experience. It’s a tough subject and I hope it will raise a lot of awareness.
Ask Rohit about releasing such a concept-driven film theatrically in times of unpredictability with rapidly emerging pandemic waves, lockdowns and big spectacles lining up for release and he shares, “I feel it’s a great idea to release a content driven film like ‘IRaH’ theatrically. Of course, there will be big spectacles which have been releasing all over the world from the last month or two. There have been huge Hollywood films and films coming out of India which have done really well.”
However, he feels that the audience in theatres will give his film the due credit and the love that it deserves, “Out of 500 big films there can be only 3-5 big spectacle films right? Everybody can’t make a ‘Batman’ or an ‘RRR’ or ‘KGF’, you need content-driven films for the audience as well. They also want to go to the theatre and enjoy the intricacies of cinema and you don’t necessarily need a big spectacle or a spectacular film like Batman.”
“I feel when you go into a dark room and watch films like ‘IRaH’ with absolutely unknown people the experience is even better. And I feel IRaH is a perfect crossover in a sense that it is something people will enjoy in the theatres and later when it’s released on OTT, they will enjoy it then also, so for me it’s a big plus that it’s releasing theatrically”, he concludes.
An Indo-British production, ‘IRaH’ also stars Karishma Kotak, Ameet Chana, Fagun Thakrar and Rajesh Sharma in pivotal roles. The film is looking at a tentative release date of September 23.