Be it a comedy or a noir film, Neena Gupta wows the audience with her acting performance and her latest movie, Vadh, is the proof. Not only Vadh but also Uunchai of Sooraj Barjatya garnered praise for her convincing performance. In a short talk with Hindustan Times, Neena Gupta revealed more about Vadh and why the film’s box office numbers are not her concern.
Vadh was released in theaters last Friday. It tells the story of a middle class couple played by Neena and Sanjay Mishra, who get into financial trouble after taking out a hefty loan to send their son abroad. The film, which looks like yet another family drama, turns dark when trouble leads to murder. Talking about the film’s reception, Neena Gupta said, “Well, the response and reviews have been amazing. My only concern is that people have to go to theaters. I don’t have any cash register numbers yet. Eventually I stopped worrying about it.”
Ask Neena Gupta which is most important to her, critical acclaim or a good run at the counter, she said she wants both. “Actors will benefit from audiences watching the film and producers will be able to make money. Thus we can get similar movies and roles. Sirf critical reviews se to paise nahin ayenge na (critical reviews don’t make money). But good reviews help take a movie to the next level and draw people to the theater,” she reasoned.
The chemistry between Neena Gupta and Sanjay Mishra brings to life the reality of a middle class family. Neena, who had a lot of fun filming with him, said: “Sanjay Ji is a very easy person to work with. You don’t see his craft, he’s that good. If your fellow player is this good, your role will be elevated even more. He has a great sense of humour.”
Read also: Vadh movie review: Sanjay Mishra and Neena Gupta in a fragmentary but well-acted drama about justifying murder
The movie strikes a chord with the title. It later justifies the thoughts behind it with Sanjay Mishra’s character saying, ‘Humne hatya nahin ki, humne vadh kiya hain.’ Does she think a wrong act for a good cause is justified? “It’s easy to share an opinion while sitting for this interview. But in reality, you do things on a whim. You may not know what to do. I cannot lecture others ‘aapke sath bhi aisa hua toh aapko bhi aisa karna chahiye ya police k pass jana chahiye.’ I don’t want to judge anyone who suffers from pain and ends up taking matters into their own hands,” Neena clarified.
She went on to tell the story of a benefactor in her life who once suffered at the hands of their own children. “It happened to someone I know. I had told them a hundred times ‘marne se pehle makaan nahi name karna bacho ke name pe (don’t leave the house to your children in your will). But they did anyway. They were thrown out of the house during their illness. People don’t listen and get emotional. This often happens because you can do anything for your child. But they won’t necessarily do the same to you.
So, what is Neena Gupta’s daughter Masaba’s opinion about Vadh? The senior actor said: “Masaba ne film nahin dekhi (Masaba has not seen the film). Madam is too busy now.” But has she come across claims that Vadh gave flashbacks of Ajay Devgn-Mohanlal’s Drishyam series? “I haven’t seen Drishyam, not even the first one. I cannot comment on it.”
“Listen, do you know how many human emotions there are? 7 raas hotein hain (There are seven main emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and contempt, according to Ekman). All emotions will revolve around them. Hello family, hoti hain. Abhi love stories me Laila-Majnu, Heer-Ranja, 100 bar banti hain aur 100 bar banti bhi rahengi. It’s just about how to give it a new twist or add softness to it. Emotions will remain the same. Do film ek hi cheez pe ho sakti hain. Kyun nahi ho sakti hain? Mai zayada bol nahin sakti (Can’t? I can’t say much) because I haven’t seen it,” she said after being told about the similarities between the film’s plots.
She added that she is currently filming when she was asked if she has plans to watch Drishyam soon. After Vadh, she also made it clear that she doesn’t differentiate between comedy and dark film. “Mera role acha hona chahiye (my role should be good),” she said.