Budding actress Tara Sutaria plays a deaf-mute girl in her second release of the year "Marjaavaan", and she says her generation of actresses are missing out on the nuanced expressions of yesteryear's heroines such as Madhubala, Meena Kumari and Nutan.
Since she does not have any dialogue in her upcoming film, Tara says she had to fall back on expressions and sign language to bring alive her character.
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"I always find Madhubala, Meena Kumari and Nutan fascinating. Their screen presence, beauty, eyes, and expressions are on a different level. Their subtle expressions would speak a thousand words silently. I think our generation misses out on their adaa and nazaaqat. I hope we can bring back those things," Tara told IANS.
She feels changing audience taste and overall westernisation has triggered off such change.
"Maybe, we are westernised, and the audience has changed, so we do not require such nuances. These days filmmakers cater to all kinds of audience. So, there is a period drama that is happening where the acting needs old-world charm and there are films that are set in the present time. Having said that, as an audience, I would love to watch films that give me a glimpse of the black-white era," said the actress.
Directed by Milap Zaveri, "Marjaavaan" features Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Rakul Preet Singh with Tara.
Tara said that she went through extensive sign language training for her role, and wishes to see the reaction from the differently-abled community after they watch her film.
"I have so many lines I had to communicate using sign language that it was quite a task for me. I learnt Indian sign language and then I had to constantly translate my lines from English to Hindi. Also, I had to make sure that while expressing myself through sign language, it looked beautiful on screen.
She added: "After learning sign language, I am more empathetic towards them. I really want to show the film to the mute and deaf community and I hope they like my character of Zoya."
Living at a time and age where gender equality and women's empowerment is part of every conversation — whether in the corporate world, the socio-economic strata, or the subject of pay parity in the film industry — Tara feels the movement is heading in the right direction.
"I grew up with my twin sister, and in our household we are taught to empower each other. So I've had a strong feminine impact in life. We were always encouraged to support women around us. These days, in Bollywood, so many women are super successful. Look at Zoya Akhtar, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. They really inspire us and tell us we can achieve anything we want. They have openly faced and won over the obstacles in professional and personal life. They really make us feel powerful!"
"I really respect the feminist movement and conversation around it that is happening here. Things do take time here in India but we always should look at the positive side," said Tara.
Being a trained singer, the actress is looking forward to tapping her versatility, as an actress and an artiste. "When you see me in my next film 'Tadap' after 'Marjaavaan', you will see a very different character. I am playing a bad-ass girl there — it has no similarity with my two films so far. The film is a remake of the south Indian film 'RX 100', and we have changed the story a bit. It is going to be interesting," she revealed.
Updating fans about her musical ambition, she said: "I will start singing in my own films next year onwards. We live in a time where we can multitask!"
"Marjaavaan" releases on November 15. [By Arundhuti Banerjee]