Bhumi Pednekar on Saand Ki Aankh releasing on Diwali: It's large-hearted, emotional, and a complete family entertainer
Bhumi Pednekar talks about the fantastic year ahead, including the release of Saand Ki Aankh, Bala and Pati, Patni Aur Woh this year, and Bhoot and Takht next year.
Sometime last year, Bhumi Pednekar had said in 2019, she will come with ‘great speed’, and the actress has stuck to her words. She has five releases — Saand Ki Aankh, Bala, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Bhoot - Part One: The Haunted Ship, and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare — in the next six months. She will start shooting for Karan Johar’s historical period drama Takht early next year.
"I have been shooting continuously for last year-and-a-half, and ever since I started filming Sonchiriya, it's pretty much been back-to-back, and most of it has come together now, this year. I love the space I am in. I am able to live so many different lives. If in one film I am playing 70-year-old, in another, I am 20. Sometimes, I am running with a child rape victim, and the other times, I am lifting a gun and playing an international level sport. Then, I am romancing someone, and there is sisterhood with somebody. This is an amazing time for me, I am getting to experience and learn so much just that I am a bit nervous," says Bhumi.
Her upcoming Saand Ki Aankh (with Taapsee Pannu) scheduled for Diwali release (25 October) is a biographical drama, where Bhumi plays a real-life 60+-year-old sharpshooter from Uttar Pradesh. "It is a brave film, and a great choice for both Taapsee and me. We have given a lot to the film. It is not easy to play a character double your age, and then playing people who are living. It is a biopic, and you have to do full justice to these women and their epic journey. The silver-lining is that it is large-hearted, emotional, and a complete family entertainer. It is not a dark film. It makes you laugh, and while shooting, we were constantly laughing and enjoying. The most difficult part was changing our psyche, the emotional transformation that we had to go through because once you change the way you think, your body language falls into place. Make-up is merely a technical challenge that can be overcome in post-production but what is important is the way you act, the way you talk, your emotions," she says.
The actress is also kicked about the fact that the two-heroine film will release on one of the biggest Indian festivals. “Nobody has yet released a two-heroine film on Diwali. What I love the most is when Saand Ki Aankh was announced, people thought it is a small film but now, it is turning out to be a commercial masala entertainer that is high on content. It is a welcome change.
No gender should have any kind of right on festival dates. Saand Ki Aankh is capable of competing with any other film that would be male-dominated."
Bhumi and Taapsee are very different in their acting process. While the former believes in preparing, the latter is spontaneous. “And that is the beauty of it. The only common thing between us is that we are instinctive actors. I have a method, and I cannot go into a film with confidence without doing that method. I have to do my homework, live like my character, learn the dialect. I think a lot about the scenes, learn the lines but I never play out the scene in my head, and nor does Taapsee. We are very different as performers also, and so, when we both came together on screen, it worked like magic. We were so much in sync that there are so many scenes where we kept improvising, and Tushar (Hiranandani, director) has not said cut,” she says.
In her next release Bala (co-starring Ayushmann Khurrana, slated for 7 November), that talks about colour bias and conventional notions of beauty, Bhumi will play a deep-coloured girl. She is most excited about reuniting with her Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan co-star. “Ayushmann is my first hero, and he will always be special to me. Our plan is to keep reuniting every maybe two years, and do something path-breaking. There couldn’t have been a better script than Bala. It is a slice-of-life film, true to cinema that Ayushmann and I like to do together,” says Bhumi.
Further on, Bhumi has enjoyed playing the “confident wife” in Pati Patni Aur Woh (alongside Kartik Aryan and Ananya Pandey (releases on 6 December), which is the remake of Sanjeev Kumar-Vidya Sinha-Ranjeeta’s '80s hit by the same name. “It is a good change for me. I am playing this confident, sensual girl. She is not a regular stereotypical wife. She is today’s girl. She is ambitious. It is the revamped version of old Pati Patni Aur Woh, and is quite different,” says Bhumi.
She is also quite thrilled about Lipstick Under My Burkha-fame director Alankrita Srivastava’s Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare going to Busan Film Festival. “It’s the combination and coming together of strong, fierce women like Alankrita, Ekta (Kapoor, producer), Konkana (Sensharma), and I. It is a film where I play 20-year-old,” she says.
However, Bhumi is tight-lipped on Karan Johar’s ensemble cast period drama Takht, which is set in the Mughal era. “I am amazed at the amount of research and in-depth history Karan has gotten into, and I have a fantastic role. People are going to see me in a very different avatar,” says Bhumi, who does not seem to be worried about the screen time that she will get. “I have never done a film where my screen time is less but Takht is divided between seven actors. It is not about the screen time. It is the importance of your character to the script and to the plot. I need to be important to the story. How many scenes I am there for doesn’t matter to me. You can have five scenes, or you can have 50 scenes in the film. You can make a mark in just one scene. It is possible that you may not make a mark even in a solo film. For instance, in Sonchiriya, I had the shortest screen time but I have been appreciated for to levels I can’t explain. People have said that we have walked out with you. It is such a big compliment,” she says.
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