Deepti Naval – the realistic actress of 80s.
Deepti Naval had followed the same path which was laid down by Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, in the 70s in realistic films. She had acted in a number of films which showed the struggle of middle-class Indians in the late 70s and early 80s.
In Saath-Saath, opposite Farooq Sheikh, she played the role of a student who had an affair with Farooq and when the time came for building their house they saw the crude reality of economic problems. Jagjit Singh composed brilliant music in the film, and the songs in the film like “yeh tera ghar yeh mera ghar”, “tumko dekha to yeh khayal aya”, etc., became landmark hits.
Deepti Naval also acted very well in the film Katha, where Naseer and Farooq played tow different characters. Both of them stayed in the same flat-complex where Deepti Naval stayed, but both were different in their ideologies. Naseer was a simple person, who lived a middle-class life and was honest, generous and truthful. Farooq came and stayed in Naseer’s house and gave a feeling to everyone that he was working in a big company and had a bright future. He took the recourse the falsehood and Deepti Naval even agreed to marry him based on the false impression. The film became successful in the early 80s.
Besides Deepti Naval also acted in comedy films like Kisise Na Kehna, where Farooq Sheikh, the son of Utpal Dutt, wanted to marry her, but due to his father’s desire had to show a different identity of Deepti Naval, telling his father she was a village girl, knowing traditional things. She was a doctor and had to portray herself as simple girl as Utpal Dutt hated ultramodern aggressive girls. Saeed Jaffery had done very well in the film and helped Farooq and Deepti Naval to hide their identity before Utpal Dutt.
Deepti Naval also did well in Mirch Masala, directed by Ketan Mehta. Although Smita Patil played the main role, the film was based on oppression of women in the rural areas of India and Deepti Naval was the wife of the mukhia played by Suresh Oberoi and had to show her frustration in respect of the unfair things that were practiced in the village.
Although Deepti Naval also acted in commercial films like Yalgaar, with Firoz Khan, she is remembered for the realistic performance she had provided in the parallel films and refined commercial films.