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‘Many a time, it’s a touch-and-go situation’

Isha Talwar hopes ‘Kaalakaandi’ will give her a fillip in Hindi cinema

Isha Talwar speaks with candidness that’s hard to find. She can chose to be diplomatic and mouth oft-repeated statements such as ‘it’s a pleasure to work in this industry’, but it’s refreshing that she speaks her mind. “Many a time, it’s a touch-and-go situation. You can never tell which film will work or even how it will shape up. In fact, I feel only two or three among the 13 south films I’ve done so far have been good,” she says.

Isha has worked in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films apart from a brief appearance in Tubelight. “I was eager to work with director Kabir Khan, so I went ahead even if it was a small part. I would call Kaalakaandi my debut in Hindi,” she says. Writer-director Akshat Verma’s Kaalakaandi stars Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Oberoi, Vijay Raaz, Deepak Dobriyal, Sobhita Dhulipala and Kunal Roy Kapur.

Mumbai-bred Isha is all enthusiasm when she talks about the film, “I can’t bracket it into a genre. Several stories run parallel and don’t meet towards the end. Someone is on the brink of despair, someone is struggling in a long-distance relationship and there’s another story of the Mumbai’s underbelly. It’s interesting how everything is woven together.”

Kaalakaandi unfolds one night in Mumbai. “Each of the characters, their behaviour and their attire are all what you would observe among people in Mumbai,” she explains. Isha liked Akshat Verma’s script “and read it over and over”. She mentions that it’s not often she comes across bound scripts. A lot happens on trust when directors narrate stories. “It’s fine if a film is helmed by a good director, say, a genius who knows the craft. Otherwise, I feel it’s better to work with a script.”

But like any emerging actor, she has to choose from what she gets. Isha has fond memories of working in the Malayalam film Bangalore Days: “I had a good part and it got me some recognition.” She shifts between Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films and is happy to be able to do so. “I didn’t set out to be an actor; it happened by chance.” Trained in western dance, she learnt Kathak and eventually worked in ad films.

Isha is a recent addition to the cast of Sobhan Babu, a Telugu comedy drama that stars Rahul Ravindran and Vennela Kishore. “The team called me two months ago and I got a scene by scene narration. It’s an exciting part and I’ve just joined the unit, we shot a song,” she says. There’s also Crossroads, a Malayalam film with 10 short stories. Talking about her choices, she says, “I am instinctive and have to feel like doing a project.”

She has her hopes pinned on Kaalakaandi. Probe her further and she narrates an incident where she was mistaken to be an intruder and asked to leave the sets. “Much before I was required on the sets, I dropped by to get a hang of things. I wanted to see how the work progressed and interact with my co-stars. I took a DSLR with me and practiced taking photographs. Someone from the unit spotted me and thought I’m a reporter who had walked in without permission,” she laughs.

Working in Kaalakandi, she says, left her on a happy note: “You feel confident when you like the story and the team. It has a different story that’s commercially viable and has its quirks.”

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 8:15:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/isha-talwar-hopes-kaalakaandi-will-give-her-a-fillip-in-hindi-cinema/article19523461.ece

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