‘Whether a film has a story or not it does not matter’


Veteran actor Manoj Kumar was recently jointly honoured by the Maharashtra Government and Pune Film Foundation for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema. The Cultural Minister of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungatiwar, Avinash Dhanke, Director of Film City and Chairman of Pune International Film Festival personally felicitated the living legend at his residence in Mumbai.

Kumar might not be seen often in the public owing to age-related health ailments, but the veteran actor has kept himself abreast with the happenings in the film industry. When the actor was told about the stupendous success of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, Pathaan, which doesn’t boast of a tangible story, he was quick to respond. “Whether a film sets out to entertain or not, it has a story or not it does not matter,” he shares.

Kumar further compared the movie to the Indian sweet gulab jamun. “Gulab jamun is sweet but it does not contain gulab in it,” he adds.

The actor may be bedridden but has not stopped watching films. Surprisingly, he watches old white and black films of the 30s and 40s. “I’m constantly watching black and white old films. These films keep me entertained. However, my back does allow me to sit for a long time. The Hindi film I watched 12 years ago was Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots,” he says.

Ask Kumar about his take on Dharmender who credits him for having helped him establish his career in Bollywood, in good humour he responds, “Mere se galti ho gayi (I made a mistake).” Adding further he explains, “There was only an hour left for the departure of his train.”

Manoj Kumar, who is associated with patriotic and social films like Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, when asked if his film, Bhagat Singh was the first one to be made, he responds, “No, mine wasn’t the first Bhagat Singh. There were two more Bhagat Singh made before mine.”

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