FRIDAY REVIEW

Revathy's heart says...

RANA SIDDIQUI

MYRIAD SHADES: Revathy plays a wife and mother of staunch views in `Dil Jo Bhi Kahey'

MYRIAD SHADES: Revathy plays a wife and mother of staunch views in `Dil Jo Bhi Kahey'  

Revathy will appear again in a film after a gap of more than a year, this time in a Romesh Sharma production, `Dil Jo Bhi Kahey.' She acted with Nana Patekar in `Ab Tak Chhappan,' and in Ashwini Chowdhary's `Dhoop' as the loving but extremely strong mother of an Army officer (Sanjay Suri) slain in the Kargil War. With her husband - played by Om Puri - she fights the corrupt administration to get the petrol pump allotted to them in memory of their son.

The two-time National Award winner, for `Mitr - My Friend' and `Thevar Magan,' Revathy accepted `Dil Jo Bhi Kahey' because of its content-driven nature and the family values it espouses.

"When Romesh came to me with the script, the way he narrated it was so impressive that I prayed he should be able to make it the way he was narrating it. I had no reason to disagree. And my role of a mother who gives the best of values to her son and then feels shattered because he decides to marry a British girl, is so well sketched out that I didn't have any trouble performing it," raves the actress.

That is not all, a couple of shots were cathartic for her as well.

"It is such a close-to-life film. Like any other educated Indian mother, I agree that if I have brought up my children with the best of values, they should be able to reciprocate the same way.

"And marriage is one of the most important issues in such families. It is true that parents know their children well and they will find the best matches for them. I personally believe in it.

"So in the scene where I blast Karan saying, `After all the Indian culture and values I nurtured you with, this is what you are giving me in return? You are going to marry a British girl from a different religion, culture and language? You didn't trust us to find the right match for you?' the scene was so realistic that it had me emotionally drained," she recalls.

Although she made `Phir Milenge,' a film that subtly conveys the positive aspects of the lives of HIV-positive people, she agrees that Indian family films, especially issue-based ones have a lot of dramatisation. And `Dil Jo Bhi Kahey' is not very different. There is some sermonising too.

"You can't help that in Indian films. We Indians are like that. We are more expressive in our emotions, whether it is major crying or anything else, while the Westerners are more restrained in their expression of emotions.

"A film on a family's love, care and values is bound to have some overplayed emotions. And this film also has some dramatisation. Here Karan and I fall into a debate with lots of emotional dialogues, but he keeps to his limits because he is being brought up like that."

Playing a perfect foil to Revathy in the film is Amitabh Bachchan, who acts as her husband in the film.

While she is the doting but traditional mother, Bachchan's character is open-minded but as caring as Revathy's.

It is for the first time that Revathy is acting as Bachchan's co-star.

She is all praise for him, "I have been his admirer for long and after working with him, the admiration continues. It is amazing to see the energy levels, commitment and memory that he retains at this age. I saw that before each shot he would behave as if it was his first film. He would cram the dialogue like a newcomer. He would rehearse it and act completely as a director's actor. It taught me that one should never take one's job for granted.

"At times, when I used to have doubts about a scene in which I had to be with him in the frame, I would go to him and say, `Sir, can we do it (the shot) once as a whole?' He would immediately agree. He would throw suggestions but never interfere. The best thing with him is his performance when he stands before you. And when the performer opposite you is good, you also emote to your best and thus the final outcome is fabulous," says this director of the critically acclaimed `Phir Milenge.'

This serious filmmaker however wonders why films such as `Phir Milenge' and `Dhoop' don't work at the box office.

"I fail to understand that despite audience demand for better stories and despite their liking such films, they don't create the required buzz, and fail at the box office. I would like to know why it happens," says the actress, who, nevertheless, doesn't want to stop making such films.

"I have reached a stage where I would like to do good films rather than successful films. And if a film is good, I don't care who its producer is, who the director and who my co-stars are," she asserts.

For now, the actress is "ready with a script" of a film which she "may produce and not direct."

She refuses to divulge anything about it at this stage though. Judging by her track record, however, the end product will certainly be worth the wait.

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