Actor Kajol says she felt responsible towards her role in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior as there was no reference point to play Savitiribai, the wife of the titular character.
The actor’s husband, Ajay Devgn, is playing the lead in the movie, directed by Om Raut. The film is set in the 17th century and is based on the life of Tanhaji Malusare, who was the military leader of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
“The sense of responsibility for this particular character was that I had no reference point. I couldn’t compare her to anybody. The responsibility, as an actor, lies with me, because I have to convince myself that what I’m doing is the right thing. That was a task,” Kajol told PTI in an interview.
She credits the director and costume designer Nachiket Barve for doing thorough research on the role, which is also her first historical part.
“Both of them researched, questioned and verified all the facts. I followed what they had to say. When you wear that saree, your body language automatically changes.”
Kajol said she is not worried about the scrutiny that comes with period dramas and wants the audience to have an immersive experience.
“The most important thing is to draw you in and convince you. We don’t want you to think too much and pin point too much and use that magnifying glass too much. We want you to forget that magnifying glass.
“When you sit down and watch a film in 3D, we want you to come in to that world. We want you to immerse yourself and enjoy the experience of watching a beautiful piece of history put on screen.”
But the actor was still concerned about her performance in the film and it was only after the dubbing that she felt satisfied. “I was really unsure till dubbing. I’d keep thinking if I’ve done it right or not. I was also thinking if I have done, subconsciously, a modern gesture which would snap you out of my character. Fortunately though, when I saw the dubbing I knew we have got it correct,” she added.
Kajol said Ajay convinced her to come on board the project, which also features Saif Ali Khan.
“Ajay was like there’s a lovely character in the film, which only you can portray. I heard it and liked it. By the time the scenes developed and we finally read it, it was even better than what I had had heard.”
The script, Kajol said, was clear in its approach and had each character well etched.
“Everybody in the film is a very clear character. Ajay is pure white, Saif is pure black, he’s not trying to be grey, save a child in the end and redeem himself. None of that. Savitri’s character is also very clear. She is a mother, wife, and Tanhaji’s biggest support.”
The film is scheduled to release on January 10.
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