Working with Shyam Benegal is almost every serious actor's wish and when actress Minissha Lamba got a chance to do so, she says, she could be "nothing but perfect". She terms their film Well Done Abba an "educative trip".
"Much before beginning to shoot for the film, I was sure about one thing that I couldn't let Shyam sir down. Here I was working with a man who has been directing for 35 years now so I had to be nothing but perfect with my performance," Minissha told IANS.
With such a senior person calling the shots, wasn't it intimidating?
"Honestly, it wasn't intimidating because Shyam sir is a pro in working with actors. He knows how to take care of them and extract the best out of them. This is why I didn't even know how an entire month passed by and the shooting got over.
"More than him calling the shots, what was really unnerving was the kind of immense pressure that I had put myself into. For me, every day was a challenge as I had to give my very best," she said.
The film has been narrated in a comic and ironic vein. It is an engaging story of Armaan Ali (Boman Irani), a driver working in Mumbai. He takes leave for a month to find a husband for his teenage daughter (Minissha), who lives in a small locality close to Hyderabad. Armaan Ali returns to work only after three months. His young employer wants to sack him but is persuaded to know the reason why Armaan got delayed.
Fascinated by the experience of working with Shyam Benegal, Minissha added: "Well Done Abba is told in a very simple, fun, light-hearted way. In any case, cinema is the reflection of society and in the same mould, this film too is quite tongue-in-cheek."
The film also stars Sameer Dattani (as Minissha's love interest), Ravi Kishan, Ila Arun, Salim Ghouse, Sonali Kulkarni, Rajit Kapoor, Yashpal Sharma and Ravi Jhankal.
"With such an ensemble cast in the film, you have to be on your toes all the time. There were some scenes in particular that were quite challenging and I didn't really know where I was and what I was doing. But, as I said, Shyam sir gets it going for his actors at the end of the day. I can only say that working in 'Well Done Abba' was an educative trip for me and I only came back a little more well-versed in cinema," said Minissha.
A BIG Pictures production, the film has music by Shantanu Moitra. Earlier titled Abba Ka Kuan, this Shyam Benegal movie is set to release March 26.