Cine icon Rakhee reveals why she doesn't want to act in Meghna Gulzar's films
She's candid, she's cool and she has no desire or ambition to be a part of films that don't appeal to her. We are talking about Rakhee Gulzar, the beautiful actor who ruled the big screen in the 1970s, mesmerising the audience with her looks and class acts in movies including Kabhie Kabhie, Muqaddar ka Sikander, Kasme Vaade, Sharmilee, and Heera Panna among others. Later she was seen in superhit films like Baazigar and Karan Arjun.
The actor who debuted in a Bengali film, Bodhu Boron in 1967, also acted in the classic Bengali film, Parama, directed by Aparna Sen. Many years later she was also seen in Rituparno Ghosh's Shubho Mahurat. For many years now, she has been away from the limelight and stays mostly at her farmhouse in Panvel and loves to spend time with her grandson.
But after more than a decade and a half, she is acting in another Bengali film, Nirban, directed by Goutam Haldar, which premiered in this year's Kolkata International Film Festival.
Present at KIFF as a chief guest, Rakhee had a heart-to-heart chat with Indulge on the sidelines. Excerpts from the same:
How are you liking being a part of KIFF this year?
This is my first time in KIFF because no one called me before, they may have thought I am worthless. I am loving it here and it's a very well-organised affair.
Do you visit Kolkata often?
Yes, I do. I came last time for dubbing of my new film, Nirban. But I like keeping my visits low-key and private.
What made you say yes to Goutam Haldar's Nirban after 16 years?
It's the story of the film, which is based on Moti Nandi's Bijolibalar Mukti. It's about this woman in her 70s who is an upright Brahmin widow and is a stickler for cleanliness. She possesses a great sense of humour and is known as thakuma or didima (grandma) in her neighbourhood. She has a big house and she lets out the ground floor on rent to a young couple. She starts seeing her son in the guy and when the couple has a child, she wants to take charge of all the responsibilities, which turns into a nightmare for the child's mother.
Why do you do films so sparingly?
It's because most of the times the scripts don't appeal to me and I have no urge or need to work for the sake of it. If I don't like a script I happily stay away.
I only do a film if the subject is good and if the director is good. I have worked for 45 years and that's enough. I want to keep away some years for myself so that I can enjoy all the things in life I have missed out on.
What about web series?
I will never do a web series since I don't like the concept itself. I have worked with so many good directors and have been guided by them but now things are very directionless.
How do you pass your time?
Everyone asks me that but where's the time to pass? I am busy the entire day doing so many things and the rest of the time is for my grandson. I love spending time with him.
Will you work with your daughter, Meghna Gulzar?
Only if I like the character and only if the story requires me to be there. I won't do a film with Bosky (Meghna Gulzar) just because I am her mother.
Who are your favourite directors among the new ones?
I love Kabir Khan, Rajkumar Hirani and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's work very much. I cried so much while watching Rang De Basanti. The last film I saw was Meghna's Raazi.