After a peripheral but poignant role in Aparna Sen's 15 Park Avenue, Rahul Bose is playing a well-educated village guy who wants to bring changes into his birthplace in Santosh Sivan's period film Keral.
"It is a very interesting take on cross-culturalism. My character joins hands with a British planter. He believes this collaboration can bring changes in his village. At the same time the freedom movement has started. So he is torn between patriotism and progress."
"It is produced by a very respectable Hollywood company called Echolake who have produced Deepa Mehta's Water. It is written by an American called Cathy Rabin. It is set in pre-Independence day, though the period isn't the plot's point.
"But yes, it's my first period film. So far I have been offered urbane characters only," says Rahul.
Though Rahul refuses to reveal more, the film has four key British characters. Well-known actors from England are playing these roles.
"I can't reveal their names. But Nandita Das, who plays a girl from my village, is my co-star."
"Keral gives me one of the most sensitive roles I have been offered. They auditioned several actors across the world. For some reason they thought I had the best understanding of the character."
Santosh Sivan, whose last directorial project Navrasa was in Tamil, is shooting this intriguing film in his home state Kerala.
There’s another a brief note about his casting at Bollyvista. Nandita Das also talks about the film a bit in an interview.
Nandita’s current assignments — Santosh Sivan’s untitled English film and Chitra Palekar’s Marathi film based on a Mahasweta Devi novel — once again confirm her commitment to good cinema. “I am playing an Englishman’s housekeeper in Sivan’s film that is set in colonial India.