Veteran filmmaker Aparna Sen says actresses Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey agreed to be a part of her upcoming English directorial Sonata without even listening to the script. The filmmaker, who also stars alongside Shabana and Lillete in the movie, says she is having a great time working with the two as they bring to the table something that is beyond anyone’s expectations.
“Both of them just accepted the roles without listening to the script. They just said yes. They always have their own inputs. They bring to the characters something you have not anticipated,” Aparna told PTI.
Sonata, based on playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar’s production of the same name, deals with mid-life crisis of three characters – Aruna Chaturvedi (professor), Dolon Sen (banker) and Subhadra Parekh (journalist) played by Aparna, Shabana and Lillete respectively.
“This is about female bonding, bonding among three friends in college. All three very intelligent women having led successful fields. They are all involved in their work and respect each others intelligence,” says Aparna, who has helmed films like Mr and Mrs Iyer and 36 Chowringhee Lane.
Talking about acting in her own directorial venture, Aparna, 71, says it was quite a task to manage both the departments.
“It is very difficult to act and direct at the same time in a film. I don’t get the benefit of supervision. It is very difficult to say which I like the more.”
Explaining why she opted to make Sonata in English, the filmmaker, who has also written the movie, says, “While the original play had been written in English, all the three characters hail from different parts of India and hence naturally they would converse in English.”
Her daughter Konkona Sen Sharma, a renowned actress, has followed Aparna’s steps and turned director. She made her directorial debut last year with critically-acclaimed A Death In The Gunj.
“She is a good director. Her strength as a director is her ability to see the images in her head. This I understand from the way she describes the scenes.”