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Three Cheers

Yesterday marked the release of National Award-winning director Shrabani Deodhar’s Marathi film Sata Lota Pan Sangla Khota. We spoke to the three protagonists of the film – Adinath Kothare, Siddharth Chandekar and Pooja Sawant. Here’s the trio in conversation with Box Office India

Adinath Kothare

Your Marathi film Sata Lota Pan Sangla Khota released yesterday. How does it feel?

I am really excited about the film. We are promoting it in the best way possible. School and college vacations are almost over so people will start to get busy with work and kids, especially, will be busy resuming college and school. This film is the last refreshing dose of entertainment for them as it is an out-an-out family entertainer. This film is very close to my heart as I am very close to the producers. My blockbuster film Zappatlela 2 was produced by them and hence I hold them in a very high regard.

What was it like working with director Shrabani Deodhar?

It was a privilege working with her as she is just amazing with her work. She knows how to get performances out of her actors. She gave us the liberty to be ourselves and suggested that we don’t try to force our characters to be funny. The script was funny in any case, so we didn’t have to do much to make our characters funny. A fabulous script which is written well is half the battle won and the way Shrabani tai narrated it to me is exactly what we did during the shoot. She is one of the main reasons I signed the film and the other, of course, is the content.

Actually, she and I have worked together before, when she was Star Pravaah’s channel head and I had produced a serial for the channel. But, here, the experience was totally different.

What is your character in the film? What was the brief given to you to approach your role?

My character’s name is Jay and he has a best friend whose name is Veeru, who is played by Siddharth Chandekar. The camaraderie between the characters was exceptional. We are good friends off screen as well, so it was not tough to translate that friendship on screen. Jay is really sweet as he’s good at heart and honest but his innocence gets him into all sorts of trouble.

You have always chosen different roles. How do you choose your films?

First, the script should inspire me and the second criterion is the team – director and the producers. I have also played a supporting character in many films, thanks to the scripts and the way they inspired me. Being part of good, content-driven films gives me creative satisfaction. I am a passionate actor and it is very important for me to get creative satisfaction from the roles I play.

Marathi cinema is known for commercial and content-oriented films. How do you balance your career between the two genres?

I feel the Marathi industry is very content-driven and it is the content that is the real star. And this is why we have good viewership. I also feel that our cinema is realistic and translates real stories on celluloid. Diverse content gives us actors the liberty to experiment with a greater range of roles too.

What’s your next project?

I am doing a bilingual Hindi film directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. The title is yet to be finalised.

Pooja Sawant

Your Marathi film Sata Lota Pan Sangla Khota released yesterday. How does it feel?

I am super excited about the release. It’s a romantic comedy filled with thriller elements as far as the genre of the film goes. I have mixed emotions along with excitement and I am nervous too. But it is a good kind of nervousness.

What was it like working with director Shrabani Deodhar?

It’s a privilege to work with her and I feel lucky to be a part of this film. She trusted me and encouraged me to play this character, which is the opposite of who I really am. She was more like a mother on the sets and not like a typical director. I noticed that when we were not shooting, most of us used to relax in vanity vans but she would be on the set, working and discussing with the DoP about the next scene. She is inspirational.

What is your character in the film? What was the brief given to you to approach your role?

My character Ishika is a bubbly character and she belongs to a rich family. She enjoys all the luxury she could want but she witnesses poor people and their lifestyle and starts to like it. She starts doing things that a poor person would. Finally, she meets Jay and when she gets to know that he is an orphan and teaches in a small school, she falls in love with him.

You have always chosen different roles. How do you choose your films?

I never choose my films. I am blessed as I have always got good films. I chose this film because of Shrabani tai. I was sure she would give me a good role and flesh out my character beautifully.

Marathi films are known for commercial and content-Oriented films. How do you balance your career between the two genres?

Marathi films always have strong content and directors always study the subjects of their films just like Shrabani tai does. There aren’t too many Marathi films without good content.

What’s your next project?

My next films are Dagndi Chawl and Vrindawan.

Siddharth Chandekar

Your Marathi film Sata Lota Pan Sangla Khota released yesterday. How does it feel?

I’m really happy, especially happy for Shrabani tai, as she’s coming back after a long time to Marathi cinema. She was more excited than any of us were.

What was it like working with director Shrabani Deodhar?

It was a superb experience. She is an amazing director and one of the best I have ever worked with. When Adinath, Pooja and Mrunmayee were together on the sets, it was like a house on fire. We gave her some hard times but, in the end, we regard her like a mother and we respect her even more. She is young at heart and is a caring director but at the same time she knows how to draw performances out of her actors.

What is your character in the film? What was the brief given to you to approach your role?

My character’s name is Veeru, who comes up with ideas ranging from crazy to awful. It was great to play a character with notorious antics.

You have always chosen different roles. How do you choose your films?

I always go by instinct. Whenever the film or a character brief is narrated to me, I step into the character’s zone to see whether I would suit the role and be able to justify it. I take up a project only if it appeals to me.

Marathi cinema is known for commercial and content-oriented films. How do you balance your career between the two genres?

I feel 95 per cent of Marathi cinema has beautiful content, and most Marathi commercial films have the ability to connect with the audience, which makes our industry a win-win for both commercial and content-driven films.

What’s your next project?

My upcoming film is Online Binline, which is set to release on July 3. It’s an Internet generation film targeted at the young audience.

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