As India borrows Pakistani romance, one man recasts himselfSeptember 16th, 2011 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Sep 16 (IANS) From hero to villain to out-of-work film actor to TV star, Mohnish Behl has had a long checkered journey in showbiz. But in his twilight years, life is taking a new turn yet again - as the protagonist of an Indian romance based on super-successful Pakistani soap “Dhoop Kinare”.
His cinematic career has been patchy — he couldn’t ape his mother and legendary actress Nutan’s success story on the silver screen. But Mohnish, 48, made it big on television and gives credit to TV audiences for accepting his brooding and reclusive image.
“From a flop to no work in the industry to a negative, then a positive image and now in my twilight years, a romance…I am confused whether I am going the right way or not!” Mohnish jokingly told IANS in an interview.
“Honestly, I feel as an actor I have got a better response on TV. Having said that, I have limited my work on the small screen. I am very selective about what I do,” said Mohnish, who is playing the lead in Sony’s forthcoming hospital romance “Kuch Toh Log Kahenge” (KTLK).
“If I had the option of being so selective in films, I would possibly have got the same response and then I would have done selected movies without caring about the number of films. But the movie business is such that one has to be in circulation, unlike television,” he added.
So what will he offer now as a romantic lead in KTLK, based on hit Pakistani serial “Dhoop Kinare”?
Mohnish said: “For a middle aged man to realise that he is in love with a girl half his age is catastrophic. He questions, he doesn’t know whether to believe it or not. Then when he finally realises it is true come the insecurities whether he will be able to match up to the expectations of the girl.
“When he sees her with a younger man, who is perfectly suited to her, he questions his own capability as a man because he is now pitted against a younger man. So these are the emotions that he has to deal with and on top of that he is a closed person and has to deal with his own emotional shackles.”
In his almost three decades in the industry, Mohnish has managed to survive despite many ups and downs. Being Nutan’s son became an added responsibility and there came a time when he succumbed to expectations.
His first break came with “Bekaraar” in 1983 and then followed a series of flops and then came the darkest phase of his life when he had no work.
“Horrible. For those two and a half years there was no work, I used to keep my mother up all night. She used to tell me that ‘you will find success because you are a good actor’ and I used to ask her, ‘how do you know’. She would then say, ‘I did nine films and I didn’t have movies after that for a while,’ ” recollected Mohnish.
“And then I would reply, ‘If you guarantee me a career like yours, 40 years from now, I am ready to wait, but there is no guarantee’. That was a difficult time for me emotionally and psychologically. I had lost all confidence in myself. It was a dead end, I didn’t know what I was doing in life,” he added.
The ray of hope came in the form of the 1989 hit movie “Maine Pyaar Kiya” and “Baaghi” (1990) and in both the films he played grey characters. Later with “Hum Aapke Hain Koun” and “Hum Saath-Saath Hain”, he showed the positive side by playing a family man.
In 2004, he turned to television with the hit hospital drama “Sanjivini” and luckily audiences loved his performance. Then he featured in “Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii” and his role fetched him accolades and helped him in winning a decent fan following.
Mohnish now carries his journey forward, with the love saga.
(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at email@example.com)
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Tags: cinematic career, circulation, dhoop kinare, film actor, indian romance, insecurities, ktlk, legendary actress, middle aged man, mohnish behl, positive image, protagonist, showbiz, silver screen, success story, tv audiences, tv star, twilight years, villain, younger man