The importance of this film lies in its complete enunciation of self-importance. Director Anand Gandhi raises questions that resonate through eternity. The tone of the film is one of implicit exposition rather than assuming a position of infinite nature. Sometimes being sick and getting well become an integrated process. Just as pain is a precursor to wisdom, so too is a film about a healing process, and in this case, provides some profound insight into the workings of the human heart. Debutant Anand Gandhi’s film has three stories of infinite resonance. And what a debut Gandhi made!
Talking about her role as a hermit in Ship of Theseus, Neeja Kabi says, “I didn’t come to Mumbai and acting in films to amass wealth, having a fleet of cars is definitely not my aim in life. I want to play characters that can inspire me to transform in body and soul.
Neeraj almost lost his life while losing weight for Anand Gandhi’s film. “I decided to lose 18 kilos for Ship of Theseus. I was 42 at the time and doctors warned me against messing with my metabolism and blood pressure. Everything was going well despite the weight loss. I faced blackout only after the shooting was over in Jaipur. So yes, my health deteriorated. And I’d do it again for a role if it’s worth it. However, when I did Ship of Theseus, no one had any idea that the film would turn out like this. Director Anand Gandhi was brand new.
But such feats are not done by Kabi in a self-congratulatory tone. “I will do what has to be done for a character. When I approach a role I give up the three tools of imagination, improvisation and reaction that are considered essential by many actors. I respond to the character. I don’t do what I think is right for the character. Instead I try to understand what the character wants from me.
Fun fact about Neeraj Kabi: He is associated with the name Gandhi. He played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Shyam Benegal’s serial Samvidhan. He worked with director Anand Gandhi in Ship of Theseus. He has done a film named Gandhi of the Month in 2014. And his film Talwar is released on Gandhi Jayanti i.e. 2 October.
Kabi said, “I think I should change my name to Neeraj Gandhi.”