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Feeling The Energy

SHAHANA GOSWAMI

ON THE BRIEF

As an actor, I prefer to read the whole script than someone narrating the story to me. Director Milind (Dhaimade) and I had a common acquaintance who thought I would be perfect for the role. They asked me to read the script. I laughed throughout the story and loved how they used Hindi and English dialogues in a very real way. I was taken in by the relationship between the characters and the details with which they were etched.

It was also refreshing to be offered something young, light and strong. This helped me bring out many facets of my own personality.

ON THE ROLE

It was such a well-written character. All the female characters in the film are living through difficult situations. My character had to take care of her unwell father. Yet, none of the women are bogged down by their problems. My character has also taken everything in her stride. Women in Indian cinema are mostly portrayed as grey, black, dark or goddesses. This role is true feminism for me; it is depicting the woman as she is.

ON THE CHALLENGES

There was only one. I had to speak Tamil intermittently since I was portraying a Tamilian. It is an alien language for me and I had to learn the lines. That wasn’t too much; it is just that I have never spoken the language in any other film. Though I might sound terrible, it is quite passable for a Mumbai-Tamilian!

ON THE DIRECTOR

He is fantastic to work with. He is affable, full of energy, positive and that is exactly the energy of the film. Somewhere, he chose people who have some part of that energy inherently in them. A lot of my character has Milind inside it, personally. We get along so well that it was never difficult to communicate. He would always advise us to be ourselves.

ON HER CO-STARS

It’s been a strange journey. I have made great friends from the different films I have worked on. I am still so closely bonded with this team even two years after the film finished. We instantly got along from the first reading at Milind’s place. It was as if we had known each other for long. Promotions too have been so much fun because we have done them together. We still have a WhatsApp group and are constantly in touch.

ON THE RESPONSE

Be it at the screenings or festivals, people first greeted us with an aloof ‘hello’. After the interval, they couldn’t stop gushing. The audience really found it beautiful and refreshing, especially the characters. People were really moved and emotional because the film ended on a very uplifting note. You can always fight for your happiness in your day-to-day life, and I think that’s what has resonated with people.

ON FUTURE PROJECTS

I have another film which will be screened at the MAMI film festival called In The Shadows with Manoj Bajpayee. I will also start shooting for the next season of Sacred Games. I am based in Paris now and have plans to direct a film. I am in the process of writing something.

– Suranjana Biswas

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