For actor-filmmaker Satish Kaushik, Kaagaz is a dream come true. Kaushik, who makes his directorial comeback after six years with the ZEE5 movie, bought the rights to Lal Bihari’s story in 2003. “Its script underwent changes over the years. Sometimes it looked like a documentary. I went to so many actors with the film. So it was like a struggle for me. Like Lal Bihari’s struggle went on for 18 years, even my 18 years went into making the film,” he said during the virtual trailer launch of the film.
Kaagaz, starring Pankaj Tripathi in the lead role, revolves around Lal Bihari Mritak who fought for his life for 19 years after being declared dead by interests keen to take over his assets.
When indianexpress.com asked Satish Kaushik about the nuances that Pankaj Tripathi brought to his character, the director said, “When you have an actor like Pankaj Tripathi, knowingly or unknowingly, his experience gets reflected in his characters. Pankaj gave me suggestions during scenes. He improvised his body language too.”
Kaushik, who also plays a pivotal role in Kaagaz, added, “When I was enacting scenes with him in the movie, I tried to be as good as him. I think Kaagaz will be one of Pankaj’s best films.”
Pankaj Tripathi also reflected on his look in the film. “It is a story of 18 years. To create a convincing look which doesn’t look loud and spans several years was a challenge. To keep the progression of the look was tough.”
Tripathi added, “It was a spellbinding experience working with Satish Kaushik and on Kaagaz. Shooting it was like a trance. I think it’s the first time that an NSD pass-out director and an NSD pass-out actor are working together.”
The trailer of Kaagaz suggests it uses humour to tell a tragic story. When we asked Satish Kaushik about the same, the director replied, “I believe if tragic stories are said with humour, the tragedy comes out even better, or else it’ll become too heavy for the audience. Both I and Pankaj have our individual style of comedy. So our combination worked here.”
Kaagaz is produced by Salma Khan, Nishant Kaushik and Vikas Malu. It also stars Monal Gajjar, Mita Vashisht and Amar Upadhyay. The movie will start streaming on ZEE5 from January 7.