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Mother India, Bandini, Sujata were never tagged as ‘female orientated’ films: Jahnvi Kapoor

2018 has been an eventful year for young Jahnvi Kapoor. She had to face the sudden loss of her mother, actress Sridevi, in February. But also got to make her film debut with Shashank Khaitan’s Dhadak, that proved to be a commercial success.

Janhvi joined her father, producer Boney Kapoor, for a discussion at the ongoing 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on 22 November.

The 21-year-old actress was asked how she looked back at 2018.

“There has been some growing. When I say growth, I mean personal growth. I don’t know about artistic growth. The year has witnessed the worst thing for me, and a few good things too happened. I feel strange. The good thing is that our family has united,” Janhvi said.

Janvhi and her younger sister Khushi didn’t share cordial relations with Arjun and Anshula, their half-siblings, until the passing of Sridevi.

At the IFFI event, a few tears were shed and Boney waxed eloquent about his late wife Sridevi hailing her India’s biggest female superstar. One though was intrigued by the Janvhi’s appreciation of Hindi cinema of yesteryear.

Boney, who started his career in the 1970s, was asked about the difference in cinema then and now. He observed that the industry has improved by leaps and bounds technically, with better artistes, but feels that the shortage of writers still exists.

Janhvi brought out the youth perspective with an interesting observation about the cinema of yore. “I feel that golden era father was speaking about it. I believe the quality of acting, storytelling was way ahead of their times. I feel that somewhere we are trapped in this commercial trap. Earlier, I think filmmakers had more freedom,” Janhvi said.

The actress was asked to name a few classic films that left a deep impression on her, she said, “There are too many. Recently, I saw Guru Dutt’s Mr. & Mrs.55 (1955) that starred Guru Dutt and Madhubala. Madhubala did a fabulous job but more than the performance, I like the concept of the film. Madhubala played a character who was very progressive. Dutt showed his women through a different perspective. However, he never presented his film as agenda.”

She, however, was critical of the term ‘female orientated’, used to categorise films with female leads. “Today, if a film centres around a female character, then it is labelled as a female orientated film. Mother India (1957), Sujata (1959), Bandini (1963), Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), these films had female protagonists, but they never got the ‘female-centric’ tag,” Jahnvi noted.

Jahnvi harped praises on late actress Madhubala stating that she didn’t get enough credit as an actress. “The way Madhubala worked in Mughal-e-Azam (1960), I don’t think anyone else could have done that role. She was not given enough credit as an actress.”

As for her favourite actors, Jahnvi safely picked Guru Dutt and Dilip Kumar. Her film Dhadak was a remake of the Marathi film Sairat (2016). Remakes are quite common now. Janvhi was asked which classic film would she chose if she were given a channce to feature in a remake. The young actress was quick in her reply and picked Rajesh Khanna, Waheeda Rehman-starrer Khamoshi (1969).

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