The star cast of Manjha who visited Sakal Times office recently talks about the film and their respective roles
Manjha, a psychological drama, is loosely based on an incident that took place in director Jatin Wagle’s life during his school days. That incident left a strong impression on his mind and prompted him to make a movie on the subject. Starring Ashwini Bhave, Rohit Phalke and Sumedh Mudgalkar, the story revolves around the subject of how much influence one person can have in another’s life.
“What is depicted in the film, almost every scene, happens or has happened in someone’s life. The movie has a strong message about how parents need to communicate with their children. They need to know what their children are doing outside home. And that’s where communication plays an important part. Parents should understand that they have to be the idols for their child. If there is no hero at home, children start looking for a role model outside of home. Once that happens, parents don’t have any control on who or how that hero is,” says the director.
Why did he decide to make a movie on a real-life incident after so many years? Jatin answers, “Movies with psychological drama are very interesting to watch. The Marathi movie industry is growing day-by-day with the films being shown in different states as well as abroad with subtitles. There is a shift and different genres of Marathi movies are being accepted. It felt like the right time to talk about the subject. I sat with a psychiatrist and discussed all the scenes with him before making the movie.”
Ashwini Bhave, known for her iconic roles in Kalat Nakalat, Ashi Hi Banava Banvi and Heena among many others, plays the role of a mother to a teenager in the movie. “My character has an arc. Generally, in movies, characters of mothers are shown to be perfect. It’s not the case in this film. Towards the end, she becomes a role model to her son,” she explains.
After being part of so many television serials and movies, how does she choose a project? “The most important thing for me is the vision of the director and what he wants to achieve. It could either be right or wrong, but it’s a must that the director has a vision. Secondly, the character that is offered to me should be properly developed. It does not matter if the role is small or big, the role should have colour. Thirdly, there are limitations when it comes to choosing a character when you are older. But I will portray characters that are appropriate for me and my age as I am not struggling to look younger. I just want to be myself and more than anything else, I want to be the character. If the character is appropriate for me, I’ll accept it,” she says.
How does she deal with her children in situations that involve bullying and peer pressure?
“The first and foremost duty of parents is to make their children independent and trust their capacity to take right decisions. With the rise of social media, the situation is even worse and it takes a lot of effort to stay away from temptations. You want to protect your kids while giving them freedom and making them independent,” she expresses. The actress further says that she is an alert/aware parent because she comes from a conservative family. “I attend classes that teach how to safeguard your kids from all this. It is also important to take psychiatric help when required. Thankfully, there is no such problem in my children’s lives. They have their limits defined. I have taught them how to read people which is very important,” says the actress who keeps shuttling between USA and India.
Dance Maharashtra Dance and Dance India Dance fame Sumedh Mudgalkar features in this film. He plays an intelligent, smart, good-at-everything yet manipulative student. His X factor lies in his confidence. “I always wanted to get into acting but did not know the right path. After DMD and DID, I tried to get into acting but did not succeed. Then with Dil Dosti Dance I got my break into acting and there has been no looking back,” he tells us.
Speaking about his role, Sumedh says, “I play a very different character in the movie. In the beginning it was difficult for me to understand the nuances of the character. It was haunting me. But during the process, I found the key and the results are for everyone to see.”