Sharmila Tagore
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Sharmila Tagore

Films create a lot of goodwill, that’s the magic of cinema: Sharmila Tagore

Sharmila Tagore

Sharmila Tagore

Sharmila Tagore, who hasn’t appeared in a film since Break Ke Baad, may make a triumphant return in Rahul V Chittella’s first feature, Gulmohar (2010). Chittella said during a press conference in Delhi that after Tagore agreed to do the film, he would tell people while casting that she is on board, including Manoj Bajpayee (who plays her son in the film).

Tagore said, “I was absolutely mesmerised by (the work of) the DOP.” when asked who in the film impressed her the most. To have him there, behind the camera, was very reassuring to me. It was as if his camera was trained squarely on my face, so I knew I had to perform at my best. If I have succeeded, it is because of him.

Manoj Bajpayee has stated that he is confident the film’s story will strike a chord with viewers. When asked how he came to be offered the script, he said, “I’ve known Rahul Chittella for a long time, much before he offered it to me. The story of every man, I told Suraj (Suraj Sharma, who plays his son) in an interview. Sharmila ji has seen the film three times with her family and friends, which has only increased my faith in the success of this endeavour.

Tagore has stated that Suraj’s performance in the film causes her to cry every time she watches it, and that she “resonated with it” because she has many young friends. Having no idea where life is taking them makes me feel very connected to today’s youth. What is love? they resemble in many ways. What a huge burden Shaadi is! What is the source of this funding? How do I find work? Nothing worthwhile can be done with our time; no one can get a job without first getting a high school diploma. To put it bluntly, no. Suraj’s performances never fail to leave me in awe. Saba (Tagore’s daughter) has said she plans to bring a notebook to the next screening so she can take notes during the dialogue. All day long, I’ve been getting messages. I’ve had a job for 60 years, but this one is unlike any other. I appreciate it so much more now that I’m older and have higher standards for what I want out of life.

Commenting on the casting, Chittella said, “I am very thankful that all the actors came on board within a couple of days. Recruiting Manoj Bajpayee took only three hours. After reviewing the script, he decided to participate. Everyone, including Manoj, said yes to the project the second I mentioned that Sharmilaji was involved. I feel compelled to relate a tale: while filming in Delhi, we rented a house from a very wealthy local. Every day during filming, he would wait outside the bungalow to ensure that Sharmila ji’s car had a place to park. That guy wouldn’t do anything but stand there. And this is the respect and adoration that Sharmila ji has earned from her fans and followers.

She continued, “And it’s not just here; movies are to blame. To make matters worse, whenever I travel to New York or any other city and try to make a purchase, the people there flat-out refuse to accept my money. They will tell you, “Nahin, aap se (paise) nahi lenge. Our movies generate a lot of positive feelings towards our company. There is some negative feedback, but the positive comments far outweigh them. Such is the wonder of the movies.

The novel Gulmohar examines the concept of home through the lens of a Delhi family’s last four days in a house that has been in their family for more than three decades. Chittella and Arpita Mukherjee co-wrote the script, and the cast also features Amol Palekar, Suraj Sharma, and Simran.

Sharmila Tagore
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