Mumbai, Apr 7 (Calcutta Tube) Bollywood actress Deepti Naval has just created history. She managed to turn a Bengali film into Hindi!
Bengali director Sanjoy Nag, who has completed ‘Memories In March‘ featuring Deepti Naval as a bereaved mother and director-turned-actor Rituparno Ghosh as her dead son’s gay lover, had originally planned the film in Bengali.
‘Memories In March’ is set in Kolkata and the entire team was comfortable in Bengali.
But when Deepti landed on location in Kolkata her Bengali proved to be more problematic than the team, including Rituparno who has scripted the film, thought it would be.
Stuck with a linguistic deadlock, director Nag and writer Rituparno took a flash decision and ‘Memories In March’ became the first film in the history of Indian cinema to change language for the sake of its leading lady.
Laughs Deepti, ‘The Bengali language proved to be more problematic than I thought it would be. I thought my performance would suffer if I kept focusing on the lines. Sanjoy and Ritu suggested that we do the film in Hindi.’
‘ ‘Better that we try to speak in Hindi than you in Bengali,’ Rituparno said. And why not? ‘Memories in March’ in Hindi has a bigger audience. It’s a film that has to be seen by as many people as possible,’ Deepti said.
In the film Deepti plays a mother who, after her son’s sudden death, discovers his alternative sex life.
A lot of eyebrows are bound to be raised since Deepti’s own directorial debut film ‘Do Paise Ki Dhoop Chaar Aane Ki Baarish’ also features a gay protagonist.
Is Deepti turning into a champion for the gay community?
‘It isn’t as if I purposely decided to direct a film about a gay protagonist and then act in one where my co-star plays a gay character. Their sexuality is not the point. The point is the intolerance in our society in context to what is seen to be unacceptable.’
‘Why can’t we accept homosexuality as a normal condition, and move on? What I really liked about my character in ‘Memories In March’ is that she’s a woman who undertakes a journey into discovering some hard facts about her son. This is a journey that many parents in our country need to take,’ she said.
Deepti Naval, who has not been on screen for some years (her last important release was ‘Freaky Chakra’ in 2003) is happy to be back.
‘I play a woman who doesn’t show her emotions to others even when faced with such a terrible tragedy. Rituparno Ghosh is such a fine actor and a truly formidable co-star. I don’t think the language would take away from the drama. In fact, I don’t play a Bengali woman. I play a woman from Delhi who is an art curator,’ the actress said.
Deepti’s deep empathy for her part as the bereaved mother comes from her own past experiences. Personal loss, she says, is a great incentive for an actor.
‘I’ve faced it,’ she ends.