Black and white shades for Amol?s next film
He's a progressive man. His concern for women's issues and his sensitivity towards them are not a façade. It's genuine," says Sandhya Gokhale. A lawyer and writer, Gokhale is talking about her filmmaker-husband Amol Palekar on the sets of his last film in the trilogy of man-woman relationships vis-à-vis their sexuality. Palekar is shooting the last leg of his newest film, a Marathi-English bilingual called Thaang/Quest starring Mrinal Kulkarni, Rishi Deshpande, Sachin Khedekar and Vijaya Mehta.
Thaang/Quest comes after his earlier two films, Daayra and Anaahat, which dealt with the same subject. Says Palekar, "Thematically, they dealt with the same subject, but Thaang is set in more contemporary times."
The film is about a woman laywer Sai Karkhanis, who's married to a chef. But ask the director more on the film and he smiles, "I am incapable of narrating a story in just two or three lines. I'd rather make a film with all its nuances, visuals and emotions."
Gokhale is more forthcoming, saying it's not about Sai's professional life as much as about her "emotional journey. Each person has a colour code -it's black or white and then there is the grey too. My story was all about how one reacts to the other person's greyness or for that matter one's grey areas."
Adds Palekar, "The thing that fascinated me about Sandhya's story was that life goes on irrespective of what happens to you and in your life. One doesn't get time to stop and ponder. One can't tell life to stop till the problem at hand is solved."
So why did Palekar decide to make a bilingual? "Because after we finish our script writing, we generally have script-reading sessions (like wine-tasting sessions) and the one common reaction I got was, `the subject is universal, so you should make it in English.' I will continue to make films in Marathi and I also have a soft corner for regional cinema so English is nothing more to me than a regional film."
Was writing in English difficult considering that Marathi has a word for every emotion? "Yes, but it's not like the lines have been translated from Marathi to English. The set of actors remain the same so they speak English like they would otherwise. So English doesn't come across as an unnatural language."
Finally, we ask Gokhale (as Palekar continues his work, going about lighting up his next scene) if they were disappointed with Paheli not making it to the nominations for the Oscars. "Not at all, because the Oscar wasn't a barometer of our film's success at all. Was it the right film to go to the Oscars? Absolutely, it had the Indian ethos. Whoever saw the film abroad before the Oscars did feel it was a very different film to come out of India considering it was actually showing a woman in an adulterous relationship and owning up to it."
is scheduled for a May release.