'Rita' is a kaleidoscopic portrait of life: Renuka Shahane

Renuka Shahane

Shahane's film is based on the Marathi novel 'Rita Welingkar' authored by her mother Shanta Gokhale.

Renuka says that she has taken a lot of cinematic liberties and her mother did not interfere with her creative thought.

"The structure of the novel lent itself easily to a screenplay for a feature film," she said.
Pallavi Joshi plays Rita, the protagonist while Renuka apart from the directorial baton, dons the role of Rita's best friend Saraswati.

Renuka says she liked the contrasting sense of vulnerability and strength, dependence and independence, honesty and dishonesty that Rita possessed.

"She faced life full-on, with no half measures. Rita's life unfolds through a letter she writes to her best friend Saraswati," said the actress-turned-director, who was a popular name in 1990s with TV series 'Surabhi' on Doordarshan.

Jackie Shroff will appear for the first time in a Marathi movie and will play the role of Vitthal Salvi who is mentor and boss to Rita (Pallavi).

The 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun' actress says Jackie plays Salvi as a prototype of a conservative, well educated Indian man.

"What sets him apart is his compassion and generosity. He almost yearns to be different and lives his own dreams. His relationship with Rita is a step in that direction. But, he does not have the courage to live that dream completely. His need for validation from the society is so strong that he cannot take the step to leave his family," she says.

"I have consciously tried to be very fair to Salvi and I think that has made the relationship between Rita and Salvi very poignant and real," Shahane adds.
'Rita' is the story of a woman, who has to make drastic compromise for the future of her family at the age of 17.

Without pause she takes stock of her reality, and thrusts herself into the life of a more mature woman but unable to find any support from her parents, Rita finds herself depending on Salvi more and more and in time, falls in love.

But this relationship proves turbulent and Rita undergoes a violent nervous breakdown and is admitted to a psychiatric ward to recuperate, says Shahane of the central character in her movie.

Speaking about her own character Saraswati, Renuka said the two women had shared a beautiful friendship as children but lost touch to their divergent paths in life.

"Saraswati, who herself has been buried in an unrewarding marriage, finds new purpose in reconnecting with her old friend and helping her deal with her crisis," Shahne adds.

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