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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

When Rekha said an art film is simply a low-budget film, performed a lovely rendition of Mehdi Hassan ghazal. Watch

In her long career, Rekha was a part of both commercial and art cinema. She was asked whether she has been a part of any art film, here's what she said.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 24, 2022 8:42:52 am
Rekha, Rekha career, Rekha filmsRekha has been an integral part of films that are now regarded as classics. (Express archive photo)

When Rekha began her career as a teenager in Anjana Safar, nobody would have imagined that she would become one of Hindi cinema’s most prolific stars of her generation. For somebody who didn’t even want to be an actor, this achievement is nothing short of magnificent.

She has been an integral part of films that are now regarded as classics. Umrao Jaan, Khoobsurat, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Utsav, Khoon Bhari Maang — the list goes on and on.

Needless to say, in her long career, she was a part of both commercial and art cinema. She was asked in a BBC Urdu interview in 1986 whether she has worked in an art film. Rekha answered, “Many.” When asked to name them, she said, “Vijeta, Kalyug, and I just worked on a film called Musafir with Naseeruddin Shah.”

Rekha went on to ask the interviewer what he refers to as an “art film.” “I think art film is a low-budget film. For me, a film is a film,” she added.

When the interviewer said art films can be characterised by realism, no escapism, and fewer songs, Rekha replied, “Silsila was an art film, then, because it was very realistic.”

In the same interview, she also gave her melodious voice to “Mujhe Tum Nazar Se Gira To Rahe Ho” ghazal by late legend Mehdi Hassan. You can listen to Rekha’s rendition of the ghazal at the beginning of the interview.

She also opened up about working on Muzaffar Ali’s period musical drama Umrao Jaan, which she claims she was surprised to receive a National Award for, since she didn’t know a word in Urdu.

“I never took any training for Umrao Jaan. I know it’s difficult to believe but I have never learned a word in Urdu. I shouldn’t be saying this but even today, I have problem in “ki” and “ka”. I don’t think I did anything special to deserve a National Award for Umrao Jaan,” Rekha concluded.

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