Amol’s ‘Samaantar’ was a wonderful experience: Sharmila Tagore



Amol’s ‘Samaantar’ was a wonderful experience: Sharmila Tagore Bhavna Khullar

National award winning actress Sharmila Tagore is known for her remarkable contribution not just to the mainstream Bollywood films, but also to regional cinema. The actress has now teamed up with veteran actor Amol Palekar once again after a long gap of 30 years for a Marathi film, ‘Samaantar’. The veterans were recently in the capital to promote their upcoming venture. Directed by Amol Palekar, the film is about two parallel lives crossing each other in the twilight of life.



‘Samaantar’, which is going to be released with English subtitles for non-Marathi viewers in major cities of India on September 4, is expected to go down well with the audience and transcend the language barrier.
While addressing the media at a promotional event here for her upcoming film ‘Samaantar’, living legend Sharmila Tagore talked about her inclination towards regional cinema, and spoke on her experience of working with veteran actor Amol Palekar after decades.

Excerpts:

Q. Tell us something about ‘Samaantar’.

Sharmila: It was a wonderful experience. I have always been associated with regional films and being a Bengali, I’ve also done Bengali films. But Marathi is a very rich language and has a very rich literature. When I read the script of ‘Samaantar’, I was convinced by it and I’m glad that this happened.

Q. How would you describe your character in the film?

Sharmila: Well, it’s a very quiet, reclusive character, confident and a very introspective person, not very demonstrative. It had its challenges. It’s mostly in the expressions and the eyes. I mean I will make a mess of it if I try and tell you about the character, I think I can act it out better. So, you have to see it.
Q. How was the experience of working in a Marathi film?

Sharmila: I was nervous about the language before shooting for the film. Marathi language has a rich literature and a discerning audience, and I was apprehensive about exposing myself to criticism.

Q. What commonalities did you come across in Bengali and Marathi cinema?

Sharmila: India is so diverse, yet there are certain things common when it comes to cinema. Be it Bengali or Marathi, films do have common sensibilities. The way audience reacts in a cinema house is the same everywhere. The emotions are common. That’s the advantage of cinema and art.

Q. How good or bad do you think is the status of regional cinema in India?

Sharmila: Well, regional films need to be pushed forward. With the multiplexes coming up in a big way, they can reach a bigger audience. All regional films should be backed by good marketing, especially Marathi films, which have to compete with Hindi films.

Q. What do you have to say about the way ‘Samaantar’ is being marketed, considering the fact that it’s a Marathi film?

Sharmila: The way this film and its release have been planned - it’s an encouragement for regional cinema. I’m glad about Amol’s innovativeness and creativity, and I think in this way we can take regional cinema to another level.

Q. Could you compare the marketing of ‘Samaantar’ to the way Saif’s ‘Love Aaj Kal’ was promoted?

Sharmila: See, ‘Samaantar’ is a product, ‘Love Aaj Kal’ was also a product, so yes, we have promoted it the way time demands. And it’s also about the budget of the film, according to which, you may have to limit your production costs and focus more on marketing. It’s very important. Like I haven’t seen ‘Blue Umbrella’, because may be it was not publicised well.