Shabana Azmi, Lillete Dubey & Aparna Sen bring the house down
Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen and Lillete Dubey were in Chennai for the promotions of their upcoming film Sonata. Aparna, who is also the director of the film, has adapted a Marathi play written by Mahesh Elkunchwar with the same title.
The movie is about three single working women in Mumbai – Professor Aruna Chaturvedi (Aparna), banker Dolon Sen (Shabana) and journalist Subhadra Parekh (Lillete). “The film is not at all about mid-life crisis. They are actually having lots of fun. However, there are situations where they face complexities and isolation in their modern-day life,” offers Sen.
Shabana Azmi will be seen singing a piece of Rabindra Sangeeth in the film. Sen showers praises on the actress for being an 'extremely good singer'. Though Azmi confesses, “I was bullied to sing this", with a laugh. "My director wanted me to sing the piece, and I was obviously nervous," she says. "On the other hand, I had my husband (Javed Akhtar) who used to tell me, 'Do it the right way if you have taken it up.' So, I had to prepare myself to sing. However, while she first offered to record the song, I was asked to sing live on the set, and that is what is going to be presented to the audience. So, good or bad, the credit goes to Aparna,” says Shabana.
The film also features theatre stalwart Lillete Dubey in a vital role. Sen mentions that she and Elkunchwar had already decided to cast Lillete for the role of Subhadra. “Look at her. She is slim and has a perfect way of carrying herself, which is what made my decision to cast her way more easier,” says Sen.
When asked about the influence of cinema on women in Indian society, Lillete says, “Commercial cinema does not target any of these (subjects). Though we have a handful of films like Pink and Naam Shabana, which had women-centric scripts, the majority of them are made only for the monetary part of it. At the end of the day, only numbers matter. However, this is not the case with indie films. I feel, the indie industry is where the difference is made. They are not looking for box office numbers, they are making films to make a mark and make a difference.”
Out of the three women, Shabana is the most active person on social media. With more than 2.48 million followers on Twitter, she has found a way to shut the trolls. “Even though social media is a personal platform, if you are putting your opinions out there, you have to be ready for such trolls. However, I choose to ignore them and any comments which tag me 'anti-national', I just go ahead and block them,” says the veteran actress.
Shabana, Aparna and Lillete will be seen sharing screen space in Aparna's Sonata, which hits theatres on April 21.