REVERSING THE CLOCK

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Mar 2018 10:13:16


 

By Radhika Bhirani,

In a pair of ripped denims, a tucked-in bright round neck t-shirt, hair tied in a simple and neat ponytail and a pair of white sneakers, Rani Mukerji looks far from 40.


As she entered a new decade of life recently, the actress, who is coming back to the big screen after a hiatus of four years with Hichki, says she hopes to do more movies and wants to cherish the foundation years of her two-year-old daughter Adira with husband and filmmaker Aditya Chopra.
“I want to treat my 40 as my 20. And I want to do a lot of work... More and more movies. I want to enjoy bringing up Adira. It is going to be the most important years of her life, so I think it’s going to be a really really nice decade,” Rani told IANS recently.


The movie, directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, is about Naina Mathur, who has a nervous system disorder, Tourette Syndrome, that forces an individual to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds. The film’s narrative focuses on turning disadvantages into opportunities.


In a way, it takes forward Rani’s knack for taking up roles which let the story take forefront over her stardom.
“Because for me, the story is that connect... Stories that are human, which have a strong emotional connect or the stories that connect with me or resonate with me as a person. I give more precedence to that.


“For me, it is important that the audience connects with the story or storyline, and when they connect with it, they connect with me and the character as well,” she said.
In the past decade, Rani’s filmography is mostly laced by projects like Dil Bole Hadippa!, No One Killed Jessica, Aiyyaa and Mardaani, where the woman carries the most weight of the film on her shoulders -- a rare but gradually visible shift in Indian cinema.


Does she find it empowering?
“It’s scary,” she said, laughing, and then explained: “Because you have the whole film on your shoulders and it’s quite a heavyweight... But empowering, yes, as for me, it’s not important about the gender issues here that it’s a male protagonist or female protagonist. I think it’s about the story. It’s about how well can you carry forward the story, how well you are able to carry the story on your shoulders.
“That’s what is more important. Whether a male protagonist plays the role or I am playing my role as a female, it’s secondary.”


The fact that Hichki is actually based on the true story of a man named Brad Cohen -- an American motivational speaker and educator -- proves Rani’s point.
She hopes the movie resonates with the audience. “Please pray Hichki is a hit because only that will give me more incentive and empowerment to probably come back and do more films,” said the actress, who felt “great” about facing the camera after taking a break for marriage and motherhood.


Now she wants to face the camera more often. “I was so consumed with motherhood that I thought I might just say Hichki and that’s it. But I think I was born to be an actor and it is just something I love doing.”
Is there a sense of change in the kind of scripts she wants to pursue now?


“Not really, because I have always looked for special roles and special scripts that bring a change in my life emotionally. It will continue to be so because I have always connected to stories which have a deep and strong emotional connect and I think I will always be connected to those kind of scripts.”
Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, Hichki will release on Friday.