Thrilled to play a cop in her debut OTT venture Aranyak, Raveena lauds women actors for working towards equal footing over the past 15 years
Her debut web offering has given her what two-decade-plus career in films didn’t — the opportunity to play a cop. In Aranyak, Raveena Tandon portrays the role of diligent cop Kasturi Dogra who lands a big-ticket case just when she is about to go on a sabbatical. “It’s a big deal that I got to play a police officer because Kiran Bedi is my idol. I wanted to join the IPS; that was my dream. In films, I never got to play a strong woman in the uniform, but this show came my way. Dogra is a compassionate, nurturing, and fierce woman. I may not have identified with her, but I felt for her,” says the actor.
A still from the series
The Netflix series sees her character join hands with her city-bred replacement Angad — essayed by Parambrata Chatterjee — to solve the mysterious murder of a teenage tourist. Though designed as a thriller, the show also studies the gender dynamics at work. “She is a true feminist. She [questions] why men should be given the opportunity that is [rightfully] hers.”
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Having forayed into movies in 1991, Tandon has witnessed the sea change in the industry over the decades as the on-screen roles for women became braver, and their careers, longer and richer. “In the past 15 years, there is a growing acceptance for actors who are in their 40s. Earlier, people used to say that 40-plus actors won’t get work. That [idea] has changed because of OTT, global cinema and short films. It’s not that we didn’t make intelligent cinema before. India has been one of the largest producers of films. But now, we have more experimental stories.” Sure, women actors today have diverse roles to choose from, and the joy of carrying films on their shoulders. But isn’t it a long road to equality in the male-dominated industry? “We have not reached there, but we are close to it in terms of pay scale, screen presence, and the respect that our female directors, choreographers and DoPs deserve. You can see the change today.”
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