In the critically acclaimed movie Mukti Bhawan, he plays Dayanand Kumar, an aged man who wants to go to Varanasi and die with the aim of attaining moksha.

In the second film of his career, veteran TV and theatre actor Lalit Behl is being flooded with superlatives by critics. In an exclusive interview with Koimoi, he opened up on his experience of working in the film and how it has changed him as a person…

How was the experience of working in Mukti Bhawan?
This is my second film. I have worked with a debutant director (Kanu Behl) in my debut film Titli, who was also my son. I’m lucky that my second film is also with a debutant director. Veterans follow certain lines, they have certain things set in their mind. I’m not saying they don’t do good work. All I’m trying to say is that the young generation comes with fresh thoughts, which is an enriching experience for the actor. I have taken away a lot from this film. At the age of 65, I have learnt a new meaning of life after working in this film. I have become more mature as a person.

Lalit Behl: I have learnt a new meaning of life after working in Mukti Bhawan
Lalit Behl: I have learnt a new meaning of life after working in Mukti Bhawan

Tell us about your character in the film
My character in the film is a man in his mid-70s. His name is Dayanand Kumar. He has a son, daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. He suddenly has a feeling that his end is nearing, he is tired of life and wants to die. He expresses his desire to his son to take him to Varanasi, where, by breathing his last he can attain moksha. His father had also died in Varanasi with the same purpose of attaining salvation.

How did you feel working with a 25-year-old director?
The topic of Mukti Bhawan might sound serious but the way the director has treated the film is very beautiful! I am not saying this because I have acted in the film. What I realised is that Shubhashish (Bhutiani) has a strong hold on the subject of the film, which reflects in its making. Indian cinema has got a very fantastic director in the form of Shubhashish. He is so mature at such a young age. He gave us a lot of scope to improvise as actors.

Was the role challenging?
Yes, the role was very challenging. My lines were very few but there was a lot in between the lines. I have tried my best to portray the character’s inner conflicts. It’s a character with many layers. The film touches on topics like life, death and rebirth and will leave the audience with a lot of questions and a feel good factor on their minds.

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