• Monday, May 20, 2024

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Actors can contribute to society through cinema: Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon (Photo by SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Actress Raveena Tandon believes artistes can return the love and adulation they receive from people by highlighting important issues in the society through their work.

The actress, who recently starred in Disney+ Hotstar movie Patna Shukla, based around the topic of roll number scam, said she tries to take up subjects that she hopes would at least start a conversation.

“We all have done commercial hits in our lives but I have always believed that society has given us everything — name, fame and status — and at some point in our lives, we should contribute to society and this is the medium that we know the best,” Tandon told PTI in an interview.

“Using this medium, if I can create a certain amount of awareness or deliver a message that at least brings the conversation to the table, then I would be like, ‘Ok, I have done little bit of my contribution.’ That’s why once or twice a year, I pick up that one topic which I believe will make a difference or something that we need to talk about,” she added.

Patna Shukla features Tandon as Tanvi Shukla, a small-time lawyer who gets drawn into the fight for justice against a widespread roll number scam affecting numerous students.

The courtroom drama, also starring Anushka Kaushik, Manav Vij, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Jatin Goswami, and the late Satish Kaushik, has garnered good reviews.

Tandon, 51, said the script felt relevant to her and she instantly agreed when Arbaaz Khan, who has produced the movie, offered her the role.

“When this script came to me, I didn’t know that the roll number scam like this existed. It was never in the headlines, it’s always there in the back pages, which you just skip through and don’t pay attention to.

“It got me thinking that this is so relevant and this is something that needs to be spoken about because this is a scam that is stealing students’ lives and future at the beginning.”

The need to highlight the issue also felt important as both Tandon and Khan are parents.

“Arbaaz (Khan) and my children, both are students of the same age and this is something we strongly believe in. It is a conversation that needs to be brought to the table.

“We keep championing the cause of a young, strong, and educated India but who is dealing with these people who are doing these scams? I feel we need to build a certain infrastructure which kind of helps these students who have nowhere to go,” she added.

In her career of over 30 years, Tandon has explored many facets of a working woman and Tanvi Shukla is another such character who navigates motherhood and her professional life.

“I have made a conscious effort to bring different characters of working women and the dilemma they face between handling home and their work. Even in ‘Aranyak,’ it was clearly shown the dilemma she has… It’s always expected of women and mothers to handle their home, children, or in-laws, they are the ones who are responsible for it. Whereas the husbands can solely concentrate on their work.

“I have always said that families have to rally around women who are working and be their wings to be able to help them achieve their dreams and excel in their workplace because that is what they want to do.”

Patna Shukla is the third project for Tandon in the streaming space after Netflix series Aranyak and most recently Karmma Calling, which also premiered on Disney+ Hotstar.

The actress believes the medium has “relaxed” a lot of filmmakers as they don’t have the box office pressure.

“Everyone wants their show or movie to be a hit, but those constraints that we have to encapsulate everything and establish every character in a cinematic form in two hours, that I think has relaxed the filmmakers a little and enabled them to experiment with the kind of stories they need to tell.”

Tandon will next be seen in the comedy movie Welcome to the Jungle, also starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade and Paresh Rawal.

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