He’s been Kroor Singh in Prem Ya Paheli – Chandrakanta, in Raju in Parched and many more significant characters on stage and on screen. Actor Chandan Anand, who grew up in Delhi and in Jammu, is as talented as he is good looking.
Chatting with him gradually reveals a side that is lucid as well as profound. One of the reasons being his conscious attempt to keep the child inside him alive. ‘As an actor it’s essential to keep your child inside alive, which helps me in creating fresh and real characters close to life’, he says.
We’ve heard many an artist make these statements before but few can practice what they preach. If you see how Chandan Anand’s eyes light up when talking about simple things in life – films, food, friends,family – you realise the honesty.
Discussing the topic of children and films, Chandan Anand talks about his experience at the JIO MAMI Film Festival of October 2017. ‘One film that remains in my mind is Summer 1993’, he recalls. This Spanish film by Carla Simon depicts the experience of a six-year-old girl who goes to live with her uncle and his family, after she loses her parents to AIDS. The uncle has a young daughter aged two years. The dynamics between the children, the new family and the new entrant involve intense dramatic scenes with the child stars. ‘Some scenes are eight-minutes long and how the children performed them to such impactful perfection left me spellbound’, Chandan says. The largely untrained skill of these young actors is what creates such natural appeal to their characters. This is the magic that actors like Chandan Anand hope to recreate in their own work.
‘I believe we always tend to forget who we were’, Chandan states. ‘Everyone says “forget the past” but for me, my past is my roots. Of course, one has to eliminate all the negative memories but what has actually made me – my good memories – I always try to keep fresh and alive. That’s what keeps me close to children and life’.
Paying tribute to the spirit of children, Chandan emphasises how they can give every moment their 100% because they are tension-free. ‘Everything moment happens for them as they live every moment. The more we grow n become “intelligent” we tend to lose the aesthetics of life’, he muses.
Having said that, Chandan isn’t just marvelling and moving on. He’s busy creating a short film that features two young boys who are wrapped in intense attempts to buy a Ganesh idol and celebrate the festival by themselves. Poorly off, they rag-pick and scrounge around until they manage to save up. But what happens eventually makes you question so many things – religion, rituals, society – all through the eyes of these two children. One of these boys is a completely untrained actor, debuting in this film.
Child protagonists are easy cinematic tools for most filmmakers to tell their stories. When honed effectively, they can create unforgettable impressions. But at the crux of it all is the need for a filmmaker who is in touch with the child within. Then only can the two worlds connect and create magic. Chandan Anand’s quest is promising indeed and we wish him all the best. Long live the child within!
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