Veteran actress Soni Razdan, who recently travelled with her film "Yours Truly" to the Busan International Film Festival earlier this month and received positive response from the audience, says though the film is unusual, every content can find its audience if placed at the right platform.
"I think every content can reach its potential audience if placed rightfully. For instance, my character in the film is a middle-aged lonely woman who did not get married because she wasn't allowed to marry the man she was in love. This is the reality of the patriarchal society where women are allowed to vote, earn money to live their life but have to get an approval from the family, especially father to get married to the man of her choice. Such themes are relatable beyond the boundary," Soni told IANS in an interview.
Based on one of the short stories of Annie Zaidi, the film is directed by Sanjoy Nag and featuring Aahana Kumra, Pankaj Tripathi and Mahesh Bhatt along with Soni.
Since the story revolves around the internal journey of an individual rather than plots and a series of incidents, the 61-year-old actress says it was quite an exciting assignment for her as a performer.
"You see, I shot the film in December last year just after finishing my shoot for the film 'Raazi'. While in that, my role was crucial but small. In ‘Yours Truly', I was the centre of the story, I was the protagonist. There was a lot more happening inside the mind of the character which was not projected loudly through dialogue and action... As a performer, playing such a nuanced, internal character is challenging.
"But that's the fun I guess," added the actress, who has worked closely with filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Mira Nair, Madhur Bhandarkar and Meghna Gulzar.
"Yours Truly" is set in the city Kolkata. Soni, who is the mother of Alia Bhatt, says she felt an internal transformation as an actress when she travelled from Kashmir to Kolkata for the film.
"I think I became a different person for those 15-20 days when I went to Kolkata for the film after finishing my Kashmir schedule. I am quite excited now to see how the performance gets received by its potential audience."
Films like "Badhaai Ho" and "Yours Truly" are opening up opportunities for older actors.
Asked if she has noticed any change in the age representation of female actors in the broader Indian cinema scenario, Soni said: "I would still say that these films are far and few in between. But that is very practical only, and as actors, we also have to understand that after acting in the films, if we will only look for another such opportunity where we, elder actors are the protagonist, then that is too much to expect."
Explaining her statement, she said: "If I want to remain an actress who is active in regular projects, I should not be expecting that every opportunity that will come my way would be of a leading lady in films. When such films come, we should make the most of it, but alongside we also should work in other films. There is nothing wrong in playing parts in a good film."
"The scenario is changing but the vast change is yet to come," she added.
Since "Yours Truly" tells the story of an elderly woman, she was asked if the young audience would find it interesting enough to watch such films. She said: "I think finding a relatable factor with the story or any character has nothing to do with the age group. When I went to Busan, after the screening of the film, there were so many young girls and boys who came to me and said how they loved the film.
"Those people have nothing to do with old age and loneliness. But those emotions are not uncommon for them. So I think if the story is worth telling, even though it is unusual, it can touch the right chord."
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