Updated: October 14, 2021 5:08:12 pm
With its novel theme, Rashmi Rocket is already making noise. Starring Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Banerjee and Supriya Pathak, the film takes on the practice of gender testing. The film comes out on October 15 on Zee5. In an interview with indianexpress.com, Supriya Pathak, who plays the role of Taapsee’s mother in the film, talks about her strong character, the joy of working with director Akarsh Khurana, and the pros and cons of release on OTT platforms.
Supriya says she was overwhelmed to work with Akarsh, as she has seen him grow up. She says, “I really enjoyed doing this film, I loved the script and the inspiration. It is a very interesting script. I’ve seen Akarsh as small child, so it was a pleasure and moment of pride when he offered me this film. It’s like your ghar ka baccha offering you a film. So that was a big high for me.”
Speaking about her role, she says, “My role is important as it has a presence and adds poignance in the film. I hope that has come out. It was great for me to go through this.” She added that the mother in the film is a pillar of a support, and it also reminded her of her own mother. “Mothers are our support system. She’s always at the back of our minds… I miss my mother. If she was there, I could have gone to her house and put my head on her lap. In this, she’s the perfect person to fall back on. That’s the kind of mother I play in this, someone who has gone through a lot in life. It’s a nice relationship.”
Pathak enjoyed working with ‘youngsters’ in the film and terms it as a ‘feel-good experience’. “We had a lot of fun working on this film, it was my first time working with Taapsee. She was so focussed on the role. It was a great pleasure. Akarsh is also a great director and so sure of himself. It was great to work with a bunch of youngsters.”
Supriya Pathak has essayed a variety of roles over the years — if she made people laugh with her antics as Hansa in Khichdi, she also gave them chills with her performance as Dhankor in the film Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. Pathak has a fondness for her character Hansa, perhaps more than other roles. Asked if she misses the role of Hansa, she says, “I miss Hansa, I miss her all the time. I would love to keep playing her all the time.”
Owing to the pandemic, films have been slated to release on OTT platforms, instead of theatres. In the past two years, the OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Zee have become a sort of lifeline for cinema goers. Speaking about this, she says, “OTT is a great platform. Because of this platform, different kinds of stories and genres can be explored. We have a great opportunity to do something interesting, and to keep doing it.”
However, she reveals her concerns regarding OTT platforms. “When television came, it offered the same opportunity. It was a medium to explore and reach out to a lot of people and tell more stories. Somehow it became regressive.”
Is she referring to the saas-bahu soaps that swept television for almost a decade? “The saas-bahu format, anything. Similar work is being done on similar kinds of channels. In the daily soaps, quality became unimportant as they became quantity oriented. The face of television changed, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. Over here, we have a follow-the-leader attitude, and that scares me. We are not competing within our country, we are competing with a global audience on OTT. If you see all over the world, the shows are so interesting and different from each other. I hope we manage that here. The films that are coming out on OTT are really quite interesting.”
However, she fears that again a pattern is emerging. “Whatever I’ve been seeing over the years, we’re again coming up with dark content. All the OTT platforms are beginning to give you dark content, and we need to break that. We need to tell different kinds of stories. When we started doing television, there was Idhar Udhar, Hum Log, Saans — so many genres and takes. So many things were being done. And then this whole saas-bahu thing started, everyone started doing the same thing. This should not happen with OTT, because it’s a beautiful beginning.”
With regard to theatres opening again, Pathak says that while she is keen to perform on stage again, it should not be at the risk of anyone’s health. “As performers, I’m dying to go back on stage, but I don’t want to ask my audience to come and watch with full capacity.”
Most of Supriya Pathak’s family is in the industry, including her stepson Shahid Kapoor. On whether we would ever get to see them on screen together, she laughs, “I don’t know, I have no idea. But if ever offered, we will work together.”
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