Renuka Shahane

Somebody has rightly said, “So many languages in this world and smile speaks them all” So, you can imagine how many people in this world Renuka Shahane must have communicated with, through her pleasant smile. If you ask her, she smiles; adding you to the unaccountable list of admirers. This popular actress and TV anchor, known for her characteristic smile, has now turned a film maker with her new Marathi film ‘Rita’. This will also be her directorial debut, as besides direction she has also written screenplay and dialogues of this film. Based on the original novel ‘Rita’ penned by her mother- Shanta Gokhale, Renuka has hardly made any changes to bring alive the Rita Welinkar of 1995 on mega screen. Having assertively opted for her longtime friend Pallavi Joshi, to play the central character of Rita, she is now happy that the film has come out very well and is now due for release on 4th September 2009.

Renuka Shahane, Actress

MMW caught up with Renuka Shahane, when she was promoting her film ‘Rita’ through a talk show, where her friend Pallavi Joshi was also present. Read, what Renuka has to say about her film â’Rita’.

Renuka Shahane What made you go for Pallavi to play the central role of Rita ?
I was looking for a female who would look 17 and later play the natural role at 40; and I could not think of anyone else than Pallavi. Believe me, it is not only because of our intimate friendship I selected her, but only because the role was tailor made to suit her.

Why did you opt for Jackie Shroff to play Rita’s boss-Mr. Salvi, when there were so many talented actors around, in Marathi film industry ?
Renuka: The character of Mr. Salvi- the boss, demanded a particular virtuousness, and Jackie perfectly fitted into that requirement, as described in the novel. Moreover, I could also make my producer happy by increasing the star value of my film.

And, how about yourself, playing the role of Rita’s friend  Saraswati ?
Frankly speaking, when we finalized everything about this film, I had almost exceeded my budget. If I were to offer to anyone, I had to spend extra amount. By playing Saraswati myself, I saved on the cost. But, I am happy that both myself and Pallavi could get a chance to act together in the same film.

How do you look at the relationship between Rita and her boss, when it blossoms into love affair? Isn’t it ex- marital relationship ?
The relationship between Salvi-the boss and Rita is not like love at first sight. It is an outcome of the circumstances. Nowhere in the film, the Boss is shown disloyal to his family. He cares a lot for them. In the script, it is shown that Rita, whom he supports right from the age of 17, almost becomes a part of his family, but Rita realizes that they are doing something wrong. It is about the conscience from both sides. It is at this time she seeks advice from her friend Saraswati. It is the concluding part of the film, that will make all your doubts clear about human relationships.

Who are the other important artistes to match with the characters of original story ?
In ‘Rita’ you will find Dr. Mohan Agashe playing Rita Welinkar’s father and Suhasini Muley playing her mother. I haven’t paid much attention on popular artistes to play Dolly and Sherry, but Sangeeta’s role which is well defined, is played by talented actress Sai Tamhankar. I have opted for Medha Jambhotkar to play Ms.Salvi’s ( Jackie’s wife) while Geetu Kulkarni plays Mariamma.

This movie is mainly describing the woman’s plight in this world, but in your opinion how would you describe a woman in present lifestyle ?
I would like to salute all those women, especially the working women, who are shouldering the home as well as office responsibilities. Watching them rush for their office during morning hours and witnessing some of them even getting prepared with kitchen work, by cutting the vegetables during bus or train journey , while returning home from office; is something that really needs a special mention. Some of them even take the lessons of their kids after dinner time. It is a great sacrifice from their side. They hardly find time to watch TV or even to rest, except for that incomplete sleep.

In that case, whom do you call an ideal husband ?
In today’s busy lifestyle, every husband must share the responsibilities at home front too. There are certain things which husbands can do, like giving time to the children, while mother is busy and also help his wife to whatever manner possible from his side. In my own case, Ashu took time off for three months from his work, to give time to my children, when he knew that I had to work on my film. It came automatically from his side, understanding the situation.

What’s your idea about living happy married life ?
According to me, small arguments turn into big clashes. Avoid arguments as far as possible. Even if it happens, close the argument at that time itself. Never carry forward the same for the next day. That causes more disturbance in relationship. Good , healthy Communication is the key for cordial relationship. Both husband and wife should play their respective roles like good friends.

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