Director, writer and star Rajat Kapoor, considered the "godfather" of Indian independent film (Raghu Romeo, Ankhon Dekhi), has created a charming "meta-movie" about the art of filmmaking in his newest, RK/RKAY, opening in the US and Canadian virtual and in-person cinemas May 14, 2021.
Working in the tradition of such classic films as Being John Maklovich and Purple Rose of Cairo adding a light, markedly Indian touch, the film tells the story of a film director whose main character usurps control of the plot line, and eventually, his real life.
RK is a filmmaker (played by Rajat Kapoor), making a new movie in which he also plays the lead character of Mahboob. With a high-maintenance actress as the female lead (Mallika Sherawat), the film-within-a-film is a retro tribute to Indian cinema of the 1960s. When shooting wraps and the editing begins, RK has a sinking feeling that the film is not going to come together, that this time he has really screwed up. Sure enough, one afternoon RK gets a call from the editing room – something terrible has happened. Mahboob has "run away, out of the film" and has somehow entered the real world.
Mahboob is fleeing from the film's cartoonish killers when RK finds him (with the actor embodying both seamlessly in the same absurdist scenes) and brings him home to his wife and kids (who were hoping the movie stars Johnny Depp). Mahboob has no idea where he is from, or that he is any different from people around him.
The many existential layers of the story – the multiple characters, unresolved plot lines, magical realism, and people in search of their destiny – all converge in this playful tale.
Rajat Kapoor made his acting debut in the Kumar Shahani film Khayal Gatha and his full-length directorial debut with Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One. In 2001, Kapoor got his mainstream break in Dil Chahta Hai, starring Aamir Khan. He received international attention in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding. Since then, he has written, directed, and appeared in many critically acclaimed films including Corporate, Bheja Fry, and as Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a UK television film The Last Days of the Raj. He wrote and directed the independent film Raghu Romeo which he financed by sending e-mail requests for money to his friends. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. Kapoor then directed and starred in Mixed Doubles, a film that deals with swinging in contemporary Mumbai. In 2008 he directed a sleeper hit called Mithya, which many international critics call it one of the greatest Black Comedy of all times. He was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor for Siddharth: The Prisoner at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. He has also starred in a Bengali movie Iti Mrinalini opposite Konkona Sen directed by acclaimed Bengali film writer Aparna Sen. Kapoor frequently collaborates with actors Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey. Apart from films, Kapoor hosts the tri-weekly chat show Lounge telecasted by NDTV Good Times. He also worked in television shows, including Rishtey which was aired on Zee TV and Call My Agent, now on Netflix.
Tired of pitching his stories to investors, Kapoor reached out to his friend Chet Jainn, founder of the crowdfunding platform goCrowdera.com to raise initial seed fund for "RkRkay" in a campaign which raised over ₹35,00,000.
Sherawat first captivated Indian audiences in the 2003 groundbreaking film Kwahish and is one of Bollywood’s most popular actresses. She starred in the film Murder, one of India's biggest box office hits that year. She went on to star opposite Jackie Chan in the 2005 film The Myth and emerged as a breakout star at the Cannes Film Festival, with Time Magazine's Richard Corliss calling her "the next big thing." Sherawat was seen in the Indo-American film Hisss with Irrfan Khan for which she won a Kalakar Award for Best Actress. Other popular film credits include Dasavatharam, Guru and Pyaar Ke Side Effects, and Time Raiders which made 127 million dollars at the box office. As the first Bollywood actress to meet U.S President Barack Obama, Mallika’s popularity has immensely grown within the Hollywood community.
She is a strong advocate for women's issues, environmental causes, and nutrition. She has appeared on CNN with Piers Morgan and on Chelsea Show on Netflix. She has a degree in Philosophy and resides in Los Angeles and India. She was given a special honor by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a council presentation recognizing her as the first Bollywood star to be honored with a Resolution in her name from the City of Los Angeles for her extraordinary career and charitable efforts. Additionally she received the Diversity Award in Hollywood, and the mayor of Jersey City presented her with the Arts Award and she was the first star from Asia invited to the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
Writer & Director: Rajat Kapoor
Language: Hindi and English, with English subtitles
Running Time: 95 min.
Rajat Kapoor - RK and Mahboob
Mallika Sherawat - Gulabo and Neha
Ranvir Shorey - KN Singh and Ranvir
Chandrachoor Rai - Namita
Manu Rishi Chadha - Goel Sahab
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