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Everyone Had A Voice

There are films that shine on the big screen due to the team work team work that goes into making them. Last week’s Badhaai Ho wowed us all not only because the lead cast turned in superlative performances but the supporting actors, their pillars of support, were fabulous too. We spoke to actor Surekha Sikri from Badhaai Ho, about the impact her character made on the film

On the brief

I was very impressed by how the script had been written. The language was flowing and the structure of the script involved all the characters in something or the other. The issues that were raised in the story, like the pregnancy, the attitude of Renee’s mother and her reaction to the news, the attitudes of different people, and different relationships, were all very interesting and engaging. Middle-class values, loyalty and compassion were described very creatively and it also came out nicely. Every character had a chance to say something. Also, it is a feel-good film, a family film.

On the role

I really enjoyed my role as it was quite a different character of dadi compared to what I have done before. Here the dadi was dependent on her family. Her elder son doesn’t want her in Meerut, so she lives with her younger son, Jeetender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao), in Delhi. All these things rankle, along with the fact that her daughter-in-law is pregnant. The hypocrisy that surrounds all these situations is clarified nicely.

On the challenges

The challenge was to perform my role to the best of my ability. It was such a well-written role, to start with. Her background, her attitude to life, her relationships, how these relationships change over time and how acceptance seeps in… everything was described very well. The script itself was very clear, so all I had to be mindful of was presenting this character in terms of speech, movements and facial expressions.

On the director

It was great working with Amit Sharma. He is a talented young person. He is gifted with a good sense of direction. He pays attention to minute details in the script. He was very sure of what he wanted and he guided me accordingly.

On the co-actors

The whole team was amazing and everyone did such a good job. There was wonderful team spirit. The film had a beautiful cast. Even characters with small parts like the Haryanvi boy who gets beaten up by Gular, jiski topi gir jaati hai… he was so good. It was a happy team with no problems at all.

On the response

Everybody loved the film. Basically, they liked the warmth of this family film, where despite having so many problems, everything ends well. One girl sent me a message saying she took her parents to watch the film and she never heard them laugh so hard in years as they did while watching this film. So the older generation, who are in their late 50s and 60s, are also enjoying the film.

On future projects

I am getting a few offers but I would not like to share those details right now. Obviously, they all are for a dadi’s character because of my age. But I would like to say that for any woman my age, we needn’t only play the dadi’s role. We can play any other role where older women are involved, in the workplace, in society, like politicians, business heads and doctors.

Roles like these have started to open up in the industry. Previously, there weren’t many options. Women were barely seen at the workplace, so they were not written about either. Now things are getting better and there are so many nice scripts with different characters. I am expecting to do some good roles in the coming months.

– Bhavi Gathani

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