BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE
Actor Kay Kay Menon plays one of the protagonists in the upcoming web series “Special Ops”, a fictional account of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. He says that art intends to engage people through storytelling and other forms of performance, and the notion that ‘art can change the world is too megalomaniac.
Considering the fact that we are living in a politically sensitive time, does his choice of work reflect his political ideology? “No, it does not reflect in the choice of films or the characters that I have portrayed so far because my performance has nothing to do with what political ideology I subscribe to. When I act in a film or a show, what matters to me is the story, and whether I am interested to be part of the story. I not here to propagate or negate some political thought. I am a performing artist, I am an actor. I also think that the whole talk that ‘art can change society’ is megalomaniac thinking,” Menon told IANS.
The actor is known for his performance in films like “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Black Friday”, “Sarkar”, “Corporate”, “Mumbai Meri Jaan”, and “Shaurya”. He said that people tend to confuse art and politics, and that art is only to engage people at the moment, to tell a story through performance, music, dance or any other art form.
“Art has no such social responsibility. It has to be truthful to the story that has been told. An actor might pick up a role because he likes the character and not because of the political agenda of the character. I played the villain in many films but am I that person in real life or am I supporting the action of such a character? Please do not confuse art with politics,” said the actor.
Citing an example, Menon explained: “Tomorrow if I make a film on Raja Harish Chandra, can anyone guarantee me that the nation will start speaking the truth? Art has the power to engage people at that point of time, and if the audience is taking something back home from it that is their choice.”
In the upcoming “Special Ops”, to be premiered on the OTT platform Hotstar on March 17, Menon plays investigating officer Himmat Singh who works diligently in search of the mastermind of a terror attack for 19 years. The show also features Karan Tacker, Divya Dutta, Meher Vij, Sana Khan, Saiyami Kher, Vinay Pathak, Vipul Gupta.
Living in a time of political turmoil, is our audience ready to watch fiction that is close to reality in an objective manner? “Films are the work of fiction and fiction has to be believable. How can you expect fiction to be real? Then that is a documentary. Then that is non-fiction! So the audience should watch a film or a show for what it is, instead of integrating into something else. Watch a film a thousand times for what it is, rather than ascribe value in it which was not intended,” Menon signed off.