'I want to redefine mainstream cinema'

Veteran Actor

'I want to redefine mainstream cinema'

Deepti Naval is back with Listen Amaya, also starring Farooque Shaikh and Swara Bhaskar in prominent roles. Directed by Avinash Kumar Singh, the film is based on a mother-daughter relationship played by Deepti and Swara respectively while the sub-text revolves around a romance between the evergreen Deepti and Farooque.

The slightly off-beat plot is dealt with discerningly, says Deepti. “It is a mature yet entertaining and heartfelt subject which is sensitively made. It’s a relevant issue which everyone will connect equally with the young and old. It is not an art film. It is about a mother who is a widow and falls in love with another man, which creates issues between her and the daughter, who still cherishes her father and can’t replace him.”

How will youngsters connect to the film? “Youngsters will understand the true meaning of finding another companion. Aap log (younger generation) to aage nikal jayenge, par hamara kya? Love can happen anytime, even when you are 80.”

The film rekindles the onscreen golden romance between the hit pair of yesteryears, Deepti and Farooque after almost three decades. “We are a hit because of our on-screen chemistry, tuning and comfort level that we share. We used to tackle scenes together and not as individuals and that’s why we had no ego clashes. But, yes off-camera woh meri bahut khichai karte hain.”

The industry saw many hits last year including several small low-budget films too, like Vicky Donor and Kahaani. Is small budget cinema dealing with great subjects a growing trend? “The taste is changing. People are enjoying experimental subjects. In the older days a film made in even one crore was a big deal. Now things have changed. All these films are just pure entertainment and not mainstream cinema. Who relates to the protagonist of a film nowadays? Who are these guys, can anybody say the character is him or her? For me mainstream cinema is where a common man’s life is shown and where one can relate to the characters. So, I want to re-define ‘mainstream cinema’”.

Deepti, who now only wants to work and work, says she has been choosy about selecting her roles and regrets her decisions now. “When I was young, I refused many films as I waited for the right combination of director, producer, actors etc., which never happened. I regret not working for a long time and had I been less picky about my roles, my career in Hindi cinema would have been more fulfilling. So now, I will take more offers in the coming future and say ‘yes’ to more projects.”

Sharing her plans, Deepti also mentions an offer of a TV serial with Farooque. “But television takes up a lot of time,” with 16-18 hours a day being the minimum expected. “So, nothing has been finalised as yet.”

Talking about Deepti- Farooque, reminds of Chashme Buddoor which David Dhawan is remaking. Sharing her views on the hit pair, she says, “David is dear friend of mine and I wish him all the luck. But, the old charm of me and Farooque cannot be replicated.”

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