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‘Dunki’ actor Vikram Kochhar discusses cross-cultural appeal of ‘State Vs Malti Mhaske’ in Telugu & Kannada

HYDERABAD, MARCH 14, 2024: From big-budget cinematic fantasies to gritty, realistic plays, actor Vikram Kochhar straddles diverse creative worlds with equal ease. Despite the success of his recent film ‘Dunki’ and the possibility of bigger cinematic opportunities ahead, his commitment to theatre stays strong. He is especially proud of the work he has done in ‘State Vs Malti Mhaske’, the adaptation of Gary Earl Ross’ award-winning courtroom drama, ‘Matter of Intent’.

The Zee Theatre teleplay revolves around a 20-year-old Dalit housekeeper Malti who is accused of murdering her high-caste employer can be watched on 24th March at Tata Play Theatre. Delighted that the teleplay will now be translated into Kannada and Telugu, he says, “I am sure that the complex themes in ‘State Vs Malti Mhaske’ will connect with audiences in the South. Many unjust things are happening in society and a play like this will always hold relevance because it amplifies the truth and asks some important questions. It inspires us to work towards a society which is equitable and in which everyone can be happy and free. This story undoubtedly has a cross-cultural appeal.”

The success of ‘Dunki’ may have changed his life substantially. However, he still remains a thoughtful, grounded human-being and says, “I do not hire paps, I am not that much into social media and nobody takes care of my PR but I have been overwhelmed by the huge audience response. Be it during a flight or in the gym, everybody seems to know me now.”

His commitment to socially relevant stories, be it in cinema or theatre remains firm and he says, “People do get inspired by films and plays so as artists, we do wield a certain influence. While consuming entertainment, it is also important for the audiences to use rationality, do research, and ascertain for themselves whether what they are watching is rooted in reality or not.”

‘State Vs Malti Mhaske’, according to him, initiates an important conversation about casteism and adds, “Discrimination erases the humanity of those who are less privileged. The British divided us and it is time we learnt to co-exist. Every human being wants to live in a peaceful society but till people acknowledge social fault lines and disparity, harmony will be elusive. I am glad that a story with such a meaningful message is now breaching linguistic barriers.”

Filmed by Nikhil Mahajan, ‘State Vs Malti Mhaske’ also stars Divya Menon, Sagar Deshmukh, and Smita Tambe.


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