'The response to Tribhanga has been so phenomenal, I think I want to keep making films,' says actor-director Renuka Shahane
Actress Renuka Shahane, who is still fondly remembered as the girl from Surabhi, the ’90s television show and for her role in Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!, gave the audience one of the finest films of this year so far — Tribhanga — which released on Netflix in January.
Renuka took the audience by surprise with the sensitively made Tribhanga. Starring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar, the film not only received critical acclaim but also initiated discussions around the topics of feminism, motherhood and relationships. Although she is still soaking in the appreciation for her directorial, Renuka is back on the Internet in a promotional video for & PrivéHD. She plays the role of a mother who is meeting her daughter’s boyfriend for the first time, along with her husband. The quirky video highlights the importance of relationships, irrespective of the different languages spoken by the family. “It was a fun concept and we had to speak in different languages. I really enjoyed working with Deepak Tijori, Rohit Saraf and Sanaya Pithawalla. This was a great opportunity to be back on camera, and to tell people that I am open to work as an actor,” says Renuka.
But it’s her film Tribhanga that really brought her back in the news. Speaking about the subjects she’s explored in the film, Renuka says, “I always wanted to see women as the protagonists and show them in a way that is non-judgemental. I wanted to explore the lives of unconventional women, and what society’s take is on them and how it impacts their interpersonal relationships. I also wanted to explore a mother-daughter relationship that’s not as beautiful as it usually is.” The film also incorporates elements of sexual abuse, domestic violence and professional ambitions. Whether it’s the story, the cinematography or the screenplay, Tribhanga was a well-crafted film.
Though she’s mostly been seen as an actor, Renuka says, direction is her passion and it took a while for her to realise her dreams. “Direction was always on my mind. In fact, in 1988, I was working on the TV series Lifeline as the fourth assistant to Dr Vijaya Mehta. I learnt a lot about filmmaking through her. I consider her my mentor. Acting happened as part of my training in theatre. I kept getting good acting offers, but my passion was direction and it took a long time for me to get here,” says the actress who had directed a short film for television, and a segment for Surabhi, before helming a feature film. She debuted as a director in 2009 with the Marathi film Rita (an adaptation of her mother’s novel Rita Welinkar) that starred Jackie Shroff and Pallavi Joshi.
Even though she planned to make more films after Rita, she says it didn’t go as planned. It is Tribhanga that gave her a lot of exposure as a director. “I hope to continue writing and directing in future because both films have been such fantastic experiences for me. The response to Tribhanga has been so phenomenal, I think I want to keep making films,” she signs off.
& PrivéHD's World Box Office campaign begins from March 5, 2021