| :: Bollywood Site|
When a girl of 14 came to Mumbai city for the first time to
do a small role in Dev Anandís Hum Naujawan, she hardly thought
that this is what would become her survival instinct. Though
she began her career with the insipid Prem, her first brush
with serious cinema happened when noted filmmaker Priyadarshan
casted her in Sazaa-E-Kaalapani! Then followed a notable performance trail beginning from Maachis to
Astitva, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar to the latest Chandni Bar. An Encounter
with an actress of all seasons! |
Everyone is talking about Chandni Bar. Tell us something
about the movie.
The movie is just not about the Chandni Bar. The movie is about
a girl Mumtaz - the character, which I play. She happens to
dance at this Chandni bar and this is just one part of her life.
A girl who comes from somewhere lands up in Mumbai and how a
chain of events shapes her life in a different way altogether.
The movie is apparently set 20 years back?
It covers the period from 1985 to 2001 almost the age span of
19 years. The whole film covers her youth, her marriage, her
children, basically everything about her. We show how the woman
evolves and generates income for herself and later her family.
What was your reaction when the director approached you with
a script with no songs?
Anyone who reads the scripts will never feel the need for songs
to be included. There is no place for a song. The format of
the film is so real that we cannot afford to have the character
suddenly breaking into a song. There are songs, which are played
in the background from that particular period.
Tell us something more about Mumtaz.
I think it is a very well defined character. The character is
completely director's imagination, his work, experience, and
confidence. Her mannerisms, language, reaction all are director's
vision. There are many shades and layers to the character. As
a character, she is not complex. The movie is not about her
personality but more about what happens to her. The situations
in her life are complex. There is no sadness or pain the story
is just narrated.
How was your experience with the debutant director Madhur
I share a very lighthearted relation with him. He is extremely
talented. I have lot of faith and trust in his judgment. Technically
he is brilliant. The atmosphere while we worked on the film
was completely in contrast with the seriousness of the film.
Even before a serious shot we use to have fun and crack jokes.
In short we had a great time. I share a good rapport with him.
He doesn't mind taking suggestion and ideas from me. He is a
very intense person.
How do manage the balance between art and commercial cinema?
Actually if you check out my ratio of commercial to art films,
I have done more of commercial films. The other noticeable thing
is that very few meaningful films are being made. Hence heroines
will have to do more of commercial films. I don't have a choice
here. At the same time I never looked at the aspect of what
will happen if I do a particular film whether commercial or
art. I don't think that way because I am not supposed to. I
have never thought about the repercussion of the step I take.
Everything is same for me whether it's a commercial or serious
cinema, I enjoy doing films and it doesn't matter to me what
people label me as.
Are you consciously doing fewer films?
In the first place, the number of movies made these days is
few, actually less than before. So all of us are doing fewer
films. Filmmakers are no longer making the standard run of the
mill movies. Films are now either big budget or are on experimental
basis. My last film was released a year back. I don't want to
do lot of work. I want to work for enjoyment not because I have
to. Fortunately I have worked long enough to come to this stage
where I can select movies. It is quite exhilarating. I have
so many options and choices. That's success for me.
To add to that all the directors you have worked with like
Gulzar, Mahesh Manjrekar just don't stop talking about you.
I guess you have to ask them and not me. I too feel the same
for them. They have given me the most important milestones in
my career. They have always given me different kind of roles
and work. I hope I have lived up to their expectations I am
proud of the fact that such high caliber directors chose me
for their films.
You are doing Meghna Gulzar's debut directorial Filhaal.
How was it working with her?
I have known her for a long time now and I feel great to be
working with her in her first movie. She is just like a sister
to me. She surprised me with her sensibility at handling the
subject of the film. I wish her lots of success. Today we need
contemporary directors who have the clear vision of the cinema
they want to make.
actresses don't have a much of role to play in films. Do you
feel a change now?
People are becoming a little more courageous but I am sure they
can do better. And they should do it. Actually it is a vicious
circle, which starts with the distributors who will definitely
pick up films, which are better packaged and marketed you know
run of the mill movies. There are very few filmmakers who make
an attempt at female oriented films. Conventionally speaking
male dominated films do better business and when it comes to
that producers would definitely want to make good business.
The market scene on the whole has to change. There are filmmakers
who are rebels and try to set new trends. They make films on
sensible budget where the returns expected are less than the
ones expected from typically commercial films. There is a slight
change but we can do with more. You cannot pin point at one
particular factor for the market scene today everything is interrelated.