Shuruaat Ka Twist is an anthology of six short stories, directed by six debutant directors, who have been mentored by Bollywood stalwarts like Raj Kumar Gupta, Vikramaditya Motwane, Rajkumar Hirani and Amit Masurkar.
One of the stories in the series is Adi Sonal, directed by Heena D’souza. It stars Neena Gupta as the matriarch of a typical Indian joint family where the man of the house (played by Lalit Behl) does nothing the entire day. He only wants to be served and cared for by his wife.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Neena Gupta reveals why doing Adi Sonal was important, and what she feels about the roles being offered to her.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Why did you sign Adi Sonal?
Adi Sonal is a very simple yet interesting story. Director Heena D’souza has made an important point through such a simple story, and that’s the most beautiful thing about Adi Sonal.
Your look in Adi Sonal is very close to Badhaai Ho.
Yes, my look is similar to that of Badhaai Ho, but my character is much older and poorer in Adi Sonal than it was in Badhaai Ho.
What I really like is the detailing that has gone into this small story. The film starts with the Karva Chauth and its fasting rituals. It is a Sindhi household so Karva Chauth is called Teejri Vrat.
Then it slowly reveals the characters in the house and their relationship with each other. There is a beautiful relationship between my character and her husband. He is much older than I am. He is a demanding husband who always wants something or the other, and then the story develops further. With the film, you wonder what the director is trying to say.
— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) May 29, 2019
What attracts you towards such characters?
Whatever my image is, I am a very simple person. Most of the times I have that sadness inside me because I see my women folk in such a bad condition in our country. My heart cries seeing them treated the way they are treated. So, no matter how happy I am, that sad part is always attached to my mind and personality. Maybe that’s why I make sure that I am connected to my fellow women with whatever I do.
We used to have very few stories about ageing and middle-aged women. Today, things have changed and you are a part of that changing trend.
This is happening because society has also changed. Women have changed so much, men have not changed that much, but women definitely have. When I go to work today, there are women everywhere doing all kinds of jobs on and off the sets. We have so many women employers today. Today, there are cases where women are earning more than men. So, with this kind of change in society, specially in the urban set-up, however slow, and it will take hundred more years for the real change to happen, the first step has been taken. And the films that are made today are a reflection of what society is, and the changes that are happening.
After Badhaai Ho, you announced some exciting films like Panga and Sooryavanshi. As an actor who has been around for so long, how does it feel being a part of such big-ticket films?
I wish I was younger, so I could make use of this change much more. Secondly, I am very happy because I have hope that at my age I can get substantial roles.