Friday Review

I enjoy working with Aparna Sen: Waheeda Rehman

Waheeda Rehman   | Photo Credit: MEETA AHLAWAT

The legendary Waheeda Rehman will soon be seen in an important cameo in Aparna Sen’s “Arshinagar”. In this film, a modern version of Romeo and Juliet she shares screen apace with Bengal’s heartthrobs Dev and Rittika. She speaks about “Aarshinagar”, “Pyasa”, “Guide” and other interesting subjects in an exclusive interview.

How was it working in “Aarshinagar”?

I always enjoy working with Aparna Sen. She is a dedicated and talented actress, writer, director. Methodical in her approach, Aparna Sen gave me my freedom and worked well on me. It is a character which goes well with my age, looks and talent. We were all accommodating on the sets. I earlier worked with Aparna Sen in “15 Park Avenue”. I have a lot of confidence in her.

Earlier you worked in Bengali films like “Abhijan” and “Jeeban Je Rokom”?

“Abhijan” was my first foray into Bengali films. Working with stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Soumitra Chatterjee and Rabi Ghosh is an experience I always cherish. Satyajit Ray was meticulous in directing me as I danced and sang telling Soumitra Chatterjee, “Toke Nach Dekhabo Babuji”. “Jeeban Je Rakom” was a family film opposite Ranjit Mullick. It had haunting melodies by Salil Chowdhury.

Your memories of Pyasa and Kagaz Ke Phool…

So much has been written about these classics. Guru Dutt experimented with me very well in each of these films, including “Chaudhvin Ka Chand”. He understood my strength and weakness. In each of these films Guru Dutt took care that I perform with ease and did not go overboard. He had a superb sense of visualization and his sensitivity was admirable.

“Guide” has just completed 50 years…

It remains my best film with Dev and Vijay Anand. Based on R.K.Narayan’s masterpiece, it is considered a classic. They promised me a lifetime’s character and kept it with casting me as Rosy. Vijay Anand experimented very effectively with women’s liberation whilst picturising “Katon Se Kheech Ke Anchal”. It was lyrical and thought provoking. Dev Anand was at his altruistic best as Raju Guide.

It is said you pin high hopes on Vidya Balan…

Of course. She is excellent in “Dirty Picture” and “Kahani”. Blessed with intelligence, beauty and undeniable talent, Vidya Balan can work wonders if she receives the right script and a sensible director. I genuinely feel she has a bright future.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 2:18:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/i-enjoy-working-with-aparna-sen-waheeda-rehman/article7766496.ece

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