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Saturday, September 14, 2013
Happy birthday to Shabana Azmi.
Versatile actress Shabana Azmi was remembered on her birthday on 18th September, 2013. Many actresses spoke about her. Nandita Das had said that she had started her career with Fire opposite Shabana Azmi. She had great experience of working with the great actress. She acted with Shabana Azmi in a play named Diary of Anne Frank which was hosted in Kolkata, Bangalore and New Delhi. Director Mahesh Bhatt also said that his career also took a turn after Shabana Azmi acted in his film Arth.
Shabana Azmi gave an interview in Times of India on her birthday in 18th September, 2010, three years back. She commented on many things. She said that in theatre acting there is scope of underacting, as the viewers at the backseat may not recognize lack of expression, but in films that is not possible. For her film acting was a greater challenge.
She also said that acted in both commercial and parallel films. She acted during the transition of the 70s, when the actresses got roles opposite the angry young man played by Big B, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughun Sinha and others. Female actresses started getting roles which were transformations from the ones of the 60s in films like Mai Choop Rahungi to films in the 80s like Khoon Bhari Maang. But her range was exposed in parallel cinema. She could express the complexity of female mind successfully in the art films directed by Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray and others.
When asked about her choice, she said that she would have accepted the role of a sweeper if director Bergman had offered her a role. He was her favourite director. In respect of actors, she commented that Tragedy King Dilip Kumar was her favourite actor. She grew up seeing his acting.
It is very significant that the actress of the callibre of Shabana Azmi who had won 5 national awards also used the name of Tragedy King, who had not learned acting from acting school, but the characters immortal with his sensitive performances over 70 years. The interview was very knowledgeable.
Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil were the two leading actresses with whom the renowned directors of India including Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalini, and others experimented the most in the late 70s and early 80s. Some of the best films of Shabana Azmi include Khandahar, Paar, Masoom, Sati, Aarth, Mandi, etc. In Shyam Benegal’s Ankur she played the role of the wife of Sadhu Meher, a rural villager. The film showed oppression of the feudal lords in Indian villages. In Shekhar Kapoor’s Masoom she played the role of the husband of Naseeruddin Shah. She had her two daughters and had to reconcile the son of Naseeruddin Shah who was born out of the first wedlock in the film. In Mahesh Bhatt’s film Arth she played the role of the wife of Kulbhushan Kharwanda who was having extra-marital affair with another woman played by Smita Patil. She had played very diverse roles and did justice to the complicated characters of women over the last 35 years.
Shabana Azmi should continue her great work in bollywood films in future.