Mithun Chakraborty is one versatile all round actor who has literally defied time as far as not only Bollywood is concerned but also Tollywood. If around a decade ago he had portrayed the role of the South Indian nariyalpaniwala Mr Krishnan Iyer M.A in Agneepath, now in his forthcoming venture Don Muthuswami, Mithuin Chakraborty is all set to tickle your funny bone with his hilarious portrayal of a Don called Muthuswami.
Talking about his role in Don Muthuswamy, Mithun asserts that though the title of the film is Don Muthuswamy, the film does not revolve round a Don or for that matter the gory underworld. "The film is about a family which had migrated before 1997 and is not about dongiri. The film begins with the dad of the Don dying and extracting a promise while lying that the son would leave dadagiri forever. The film is about the problems which he has to face in the process and how he strikes a balance between his two wives", explains Mithun.
As an actor, Mithun is happy that ever since he had made his debut with Mrinal Sen's Mrigaya, around thirty three years ago, he has been tackling different types of roles. "I have been able to brave type-casting. I have done action roles, comedy roles and also dance oriented films like Disco dancer but am lucky that I was not slotted in a particular bracket", says Mithun when I met him for this interview at the Royal Classic Club in the suburbs.
The talk now veers around his eldest son Mimoh Chakraborty who has just made his debut with the film Jimmy which has nose-dived at the box office. "Mimoh is 25 times better than me as a dancer, though, as far as the acting department is concerned, I think I am 25 times better than him because he is yet to learn a lot by trial and error method in films. Mimoh has to fight his own battle in the film industry. I know he has the talent and will make it", beams the proud father.
Is your character in Don Muthuswamy an extension of your character of Mr Krishnan Iyer M.A in Agneepath? I ask Mithun. Pat comes the reply, "Yes. I agree that the character of don Muthuswamy is an extension of my character in Agneepath but felt me hasten to tell you that it is an extension by character and not by situations. It is an out and out fun film with the backdrop of the underworld in a funny way."
For a guy who had decided to quit acting and literally take sanyas in Ooty, where he has constructed a five star hotel like Monarch, Mithun, who had staged a grand come back in Bollywood with Elaan three years ago, is busy as a bee with as many as eleven films up his sleeves in different kinds of roles.
Talking about his growth as an actor over the last thirty three years, Mithun admits that every actor changes with time. "To maintain your position as an actor in this industry is by itself a great challenge. Acting, by no stretch of imagination can be called a cakewalk. I am glad and privileged that as an actor I have always been repeatedly signed by almost every film maker like Shakti Samanta, who had earlier cast me in almost seven films of his including Khwaab, Aamne Saamne and Ahankaar," Mithun travels a nostalgic path.
Mithun further adds, "An actor can never be satisfied with whatever role he has essayed in his career. I am no exception to the rule. My aim, even today, is to justify each and every role that I am asked to play and earn accolades as an actor".
Mithun continues with gusto, "I should confess that I am having a great time in the industry as an actor. I am quite excited about my role in Phir Bhi in which I have been cast opposite Dimple Kapadia. I play a 65 year old man who is in love with Dimple, who is a middle aged woman. It is a mature love story with the accent on emotion."
Besides Phir Bhi, Mithun has yet another challenging role in Chal Chale, which, according to him, is all about how parents are subjected to a lot of pressure when their kids commit suicide. The film sets out to drive home the subtle message that each child just cannot come first in his class. "I am playing the role of Ujjwal Singh, a lawyer in the film", explains the multifaceted actor.
Mithun asserts that he accepts a role only if and when it touches his heart when he is narrated the subject and cites the example of the film Ghosla, in which he says that he is playing the unusual role of a national award winning sculptor who is reduced to lead the life of a beggar.
Though he has several films today on the floors, Mithun hastens to clarify that he is very choosy and does not sign each and every offer that is dangled in front of him, because he does not want to get stuck with mediocre films or for that matter roles.
Besides Phir Bhi, Ghosla and Chal Chale, Mithun is now working in films like Luck (in which he is playing a military major like in Ghulami, with Sanjay Dutt as his co-star) Veer, Zindagi Tere Naam (which is a love story), Chandni Chowk To China, C Kkompany, Love and last but not the least Subhash Ghai's Yuvraj.
Mithun concludes by stating that though now he is too busy as an actor working for 25 days every month, he does not rule out the possibility of taking up direction at a later stage in life.