Janhvi Kapoor feels that the year 2018 was a mixed bag for her as she had both the "worst and best experience" of her life in the same breath. Her mother and veteran actress Sridevi's sudden demise not only was a big tragedy for the Kapoor family but also left the entire nation in shock. It all happened while Janhvi was filming her debut, Dhadak, which released in July this year. Jahnvi said her personal growth has been “tremendous” and she has emerged stronger in the trying times.
“It’s harder to say anything... When I say ‘growth’, I mean personal growth, I don’t know about artistic. This year brought me both the worst and the best experience of my life. It’s a little strange... Our family is now united, so that is very big thing for me. But whatever happened that too was very heavy (tragedy). We are still in shock, so we haven’t been able to process it properly. I’m really thankful for all the love that we have received and I got a chance to work, which is a big thing for me. I got a chance to make my parents proud, which is most important for me,” she said during a session at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
She was in conversation with Rumi Jaffery and her father, producer Boney Kapoor. Janhvi said the films that her father called the ‘Golden Era’ of Hindi cinema were ahead of time.“I think they are way ahead of even our time. I feel we have got tangled into a trap, a commercial one. I think the freedom to tell the story was more earlier,” she said.
She pointed out films such as Mr and Mrs 55 as an example which celebrated the essence of feminism back in the day. Madhubala has done such a beautiful job in the film. But more than that, the concept that the film raised. It dealt with feminism. Madhubala ji’s character was so forward thinking. Her aunt was also in the film, whose character was more (conservative about) how girls should behave in a society. They did not present it as a issue, they slipped it in beautifully in the story.Whatever films that are coming today that’s about a girl, suddenly we tag them as ‘female-oriented’ films. They make it a big deal that it does not have a hero. There have been so many films Mother India, Chaalbaaz, Sita Aur Geeta, Sujata, Bandini, etc. The girl was a hero in all these films. But they weren’t tagged as ‘female-oriented’ ones.”
Calling Madhubala her favourite, she added, “I think she is not given that much credit for her acting talent because she was so beautiful. But the work that she has done, so spontaneous… I don’t think the way she worked in ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, anybody could do that.” She named Dilip Kumar and Guru Dutt as her favourite actors. Boney Kapoor had a short stint in theatre and he said he chose to stay behind the camera as out of the two brothers – him and younger one Anil – someone had to shoulder the responsibility.
"I thought if both of us would set out to struggle as actors, who will handle the house?” he added. Boney, who has been an assistant editor and assisted veteran director Shakti Samanta, said he wants to helm a film in future. “I was assisting in our own production Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan and the director passed away half way through the film. So I had to leave Shakti Da and come into this side (production). Then around the same time my father had a heart issue. So direction was left on the back burner and I had to run the show. But there is still an obsession to direct. One day I’ll definitely direct a film... May be in future we’ll take the whole plunge and the family – Janhvi, Arjun, may be even Khushi, Anil chachu, and Sanjay chachu is also in full form.”
When talking about Sridevi, Boney often got emotional and said his daughter has watched her mother doing what she did “best”. “Janhvi already has an idol in front of her. There is not one as complete as an actor as her.” Janhvi said, “I can’t emulate her, even if I wanted to.”
At the event, she also recited a poem that she wrote for her mother.
(With PTI inputs)
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