Taapsee Pannu: Saand Ki Aankh on Diwali is a bold move

Updated: Oct 20, 2019, 07:38 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Taapsee Pannu says releasing Saand Ki Aankh on Diwali marks a bold and progressive change in the business of cinema because the festive weekend has predominantly been ruled by Bollywood's male superstars.

File image of Taapsee Pannu. Image sourced from mid-day archives
File image of Taapsee Pannu. Image sourced from mid-day archives

Actress Taapsee Pannu, one of the two leading ladies of the heroine-centric Saand Ki Aankh, says releasing the film, about India's oldest sharpshooters, on Diwali marks a bold and progressive change in the business of cinema, because the festive weekend has predominantly been ruled by Bollywood's male superstars.

"Female-led films are doing great these days because the audience has responded positively to that kind of cinema. But this (Saand Ki Aankh) is the story of two elderly women (sharpshooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar). This has rarely happened on a Diwali, which is mainly dominated by Bollywood's male stars. It is a strong move by the producers to release a film like Saand Ki Aankh on Diwali. This is a bold and progressive move," Taapsee spoke to IANS at the ongoing 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where "Saand Ki Aankh" will be the closing film before its theatrical release on October 25.

"The film is releasing on one of the biggest dates of the year, and a Diwali release has to cater to the audience. Although the lines are blurring and the audience is celebrating all kinds of cinema, Diwali is a festival and we have to give something to our audience that sets the mood of festivity. Our film has the potential to cater to the audience that way," she added.

On screening Saand Ki Aankh for critics at a film festival like MAMI, she said: "As an actress, I am always excited to show my film to the critics and the audience. I am fortunate that most of the time critics have loved my work."

This year at the Jio MAMI festival, the actress heads the jury of the competition section 'Dimensions Mumbai'. Other members of the jury include writer Kanika Dhillon, actor Avinash Tiwary, and filmmakers like Karan Anshuman and Rishi Chandna.

In this category, budding filmmakers get an opportunity to showcase films that are set in the city of Mumbai.

Sharing her experience of watching films by new and young filmmakers, Taapsee said: "This is my first experience of watching so many films for a competition section and I am amazed by the brilliance of storytelling these young filmmakers have. We are constantly talking about the logistics of filmmaking and what it requires to tell a story, and then I look at these films by some of the budding filmmakers."

"It clearly shows that when you have a great story idea, nothing can stop you from telling a story. It is not always that the resource of filmmaking makes a great story, it is the power of an idea as well. This is my great takeaway from the whole process of watching these films under the 'Dimensions Mumbai' category," said the young actress.

Being a girl from Delhi, Taapsee got a chance to know interesting elements about Mumbai that she otherwise had no idea of, while on the jury.

"There is a bridge in Vashi where so many people commit suicide and I had no idea of that. I got to know about it through one of the films that I watched as part of the competition. Also, there are people who are singing bhajans in the local trains for years. These things add to the life of the city of Mumbai. I would say that watching these films brought me a step closer to the city I live in -– Mumbai," she said.

Thirteen films has been selected for the ‘Dimensions Mumbai' competition section and the result will be announced on the final day of the festival. The 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star will continue till October 24.

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  • 1/15

    Born on August 1, 1987, Taapsee Pannu hails from Delhi. She did her schooling from Mata Jai Kaur Public School in Ashok Vihar, Delhi. Taapsee graduated in Computer Science Engineering from the Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology in New Delhi. She worked as a software engineer for some time. (All pictures/Taapsee Pannu's Instagram account)

  • 2/15

    Being a Sikh girl who grew up in an environment of communal harmony, Taapsee said (in an old interview with mid-day), "I was taught how to pray while visiting Gurdwara, who are the Gurus we have in Sikhism and every other basic things that a Sikh girl should know. However, I was also told that as a human, I am free to celebrate other festivals and mingle with people from other religions. So, I have no conflict in mind to celebrate Christmas, Holi or Eid."

  • 3/15

    Taapsee, who made her acting debut with the 2010 Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam, went on to appear in a number of critically acclaimed films. In the Hindi film industry, she was also appreciated for her roles in films like Baby, The Ghazi Attack and the comedy Judwaa 2. With no godfather in the industry, she created her own mark in Bollywood with films like Pink and Naam Shabana.

  • 4/15

    On her journey in Bollywood, Taapsee says she has always ensured making the best use of the opportunities that came her way. "I never planned my path in Bollywood, nor did anyone else plan anything out for me. But one thing has been constant - whatever opportunity I got, I ensured that I made use of it one hundred percent. Because I've realised one thing - you never know what will work and what will not work or which moment will click and what will not. You will probably think that's the best thing and that will not do any good for you. So just make sure you do your best every moment," Taapsee said.

  • 5/15

    She wants to be remembered as someone who was a part of the change. "Be it in terms of female characters, be it in terms of outsiders, just someone who was contributing to a significant change in the industry," said Taapsee.

  • 6/15

    Has Taapsee ever thought of directing one day? "No, not yet. I think I still have a lot to learn in terms of acting. However, I don't think I could do anything else in the film industry apart from acting. If I had to try something else, it would be in a different profession altogether," she said.

  • 7/15

    Taapsee Pannu loves to experiment with her outfits with the right amalgamation of Indian and western inspiration and she says that her personal style personifies independence and confidence. "For me, the style reflects your real personality - clothes and accessories should enhance that. I love to fuse Indian colours and patterns with silhouettes from western wear. My personal style is one that personifies independence, confidence and beauty with ease and comfort," Taapsee said.

  • 8/15

    For her, the concept of 'the perfect attire' is not set in stone. "I love to experiment with my outfits. In my ethnic wear, I love to go for some nice colours with a slight touch of the modern-day and age as well. I like modern silhouettes, classy cuts and vibrant prints - it gives an interesting twist to ethnic wear," says Taapsee.

  • 9/15

    She's dabbled in both Hindi and southern cinema since her debut with the Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam in 2010 - and her Tamil debut Aadukalam won six National Film Awards at the 58th National Film Awards. In 2017, her film The Ghazi Attack won the Best Telugu film at the 65th National Film Awards, with the chairperson of jury Shekhar Kapur hailing regional cinema over Hindi. And Pannu says it was just a matter of time before people realised the capability of regional cinema.

  • 10/15

    "I think it's only now that people (in north India) are waking up to the fact that regional cinema is quite capable of giving Hindi cinema a run for its money. But, honestly, having worked there for some years now... I will say that it (regional cinema) was always there," said Taapsee.

  • 11/15

    Taapsee Pannu said that when she made her debut, she only saw particular actresses, who weren't termed as mainstream heroines and doing female-centric movies. "But within four years, you can see such a huge change where all the female A-listers, mainstream actresses today are doing at least one female-centric film a year which is so beautiful to see and the result of it is at par as the male-centric film but at least it is headed towards the right direction," she said. Taapsee also credits the audience for a positive shift.

  • 12/15

    Taapsee Pannu, who has never been linked to her co-stars or anyone from the industry or outside the industry, says she is not a romantic person in real life. "I am not really a romantic person. It is tough for me to do all those things on camera because I am not really like that at all," she said.

  • 13/15

    She does not fear failure. Remembering her early days in the Telugu film industry, Taapsee said, "You know, it is funny now, but in the beginning of my career, some of the films failed at the box office and filmmakers stopped casting me saying I am bringing bad luck to their film. The funny thing is that in those films, my contribution was nothing but three songs and five scenes. I have seen so much failure in the south that I know that we cannot control our success rate. It's not about our desire to perform in a great story. At the end of it, box office result matters. And the weird thing is that we do not know the formula of that."

  • 14/15

    Taapsee Pannu's upcoming films this year are Mission Mangal and Saand Ki Aankh. She is also working on a Tamil action thriller.

  • 15/15

    Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Taapsee!

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