Naseeruddin Shah, Naveen Kasturia, Sonali Kulkarni on working with their favourite co-stars in Hope Aur Hum

Devansh Sharma

May 11, 2018 13:42:51 IST

In Sundeep Bandhyopadhyay's upcoming slice-of-life film Hope Aur Hum, Naseeruddin Shah has shared the screen space with an even older German character Mr Soennecken. His chemistry with the said character brews in silence. Their romance also goes through a rough patch when the German friend's health starts deteriorating.

Naseeruddin Shah in a still from Hope Aur Hum

Naseeruddin Shah in a still from Hope Aur Hum

The old German character in question is an archaic photocopy machine whose side Shah's character refuses to leave by. Mr Soennecken is no longer functional and occupies a lot of space but Shah believes that it is merely a new lens away from being hail and hearty again.

"I used to see my grandfather get attached to a lot of such antique stuff. He refused to believe that his stuff was out of order. Even when he was forced to part ways from it, he kept complaining for long that it would get fixed with time. What he didn't realise that it's a machine. It will stop working, like all of us. That's how it works," Naseeruddin says, at the premiere of Hope Aur Hum.

In the film, he is seen consoling Mr Soennecken about his frail health and even complaining to him that he is not functioning to his optimum capacity. His vague memory does not allow him to say with full clarity that he overheard his grandfather striking conversations with his inanimate friends. But he does admit that he often expresses his disappointment, rather vocally, to his not-so-user-friendly computer.

"For the longest time, I did not know how to use a computer. About 10 years ago, when I began learning how to operate the device, I would often find myself talking to it. 'What's wrong with you? Why would you not cooperate, you...!' So you see, it wasn't very difficult to talk to the photocopy machine in the film," says Naseer, laughing.

Besides Mr Sonnecken, Naseer worked with an ensemble cast in Hope Aur Hum, including Sonali Kulkarni and Naveen Kasturia. "Honestly, I should just thank my curly hair for getting this role. I feel like I'm in the film only because I look like his (Naseer's) son. In fact, Amit V Masurkar, with whom I worked in Sulemani Keeda, even said that a film should be made with Naseer sir, and Ranvir Shorey and I playing his sons because we all look so similar. I think he saw this film coming," says Naveen, showing his signature deadpan humour.

While Naveen had worked with Naseer earlier in Adhiraj Bose's short film Interior Cafe Night (where he played the veteran actor's younger version), Hope Aur Hum marked Sonali Kulkarni's maiden collaboration with the doyen of Hindi cinema. She is all praise for the seasoned actor, adding that she can even do "backstage (work) for Naseer and his wife Ratna Pathak Shah".

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Naseeruddin Shah and Sonali Kulkarni in a still from Hope Aur Hum

Sonali and Naseer share arguably the most powerful scene of the film, which was incidentally also the film's first shot. Naseer's character is forced to dump Mr Sonnecken. He is in a low mood. Throughout the film, Sonali's character, his daughter-in-law, has been complaining that her teenage daughter can't have a room to herself because the photocopy machine occupies most of the space. She is happy that the machine is gone but there is a sense of empathy for the old man, for the event has taken a toll on him emotionally. As a sign of consolation, she asks him if he would like to have a cup of tea while he is on his way to the room.

"Then, he takes a moment with himself and then comes to the table where I'm sitting, to have the tea. That pause was not cinematic. It was him taking his sweet time to react. As actors, we're in such a hurry to react, to say our lines, to get on with the narrative that we forget that we're playing characters who aren't as prepared as we are," says Sonali, applauding the genius of the senior actor.

Hope Aur Hum is slated to release this Friday on 11 May.

Images from YouTube.

(Also read — Naseeruddin Shah on doing selective films like Hope Aur Hum: 'I get all the rejected roles of Amitabh Bachchan)

Updated Date: May 11, 2018 13:42 PM