Our Chandigarh di kudi Yami Gautam was the star of the evening on day four of the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India i nGoa, which saw the Asian premiere of her movie Lost. Attired in a vibrant red saree, she looked radiant and cut a picture of confidence at ease with herself, answering each question in vivid detail.
On her role which sees her play a crime investigator, she shared, “I had no references from real or reel life, except that we did discuss the movie Spotlight.” But, of course, steeping into the part of a journalist has woken her up to the challenges they face and how often they could be facing the dilemma that could be a life or death question. Media integrity, as well as survivor’s guilt along with closure are other issues that the film, helmed by National Award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury of Pink-fame, deals with.
While Yami may not have been inspired by any real character, the film director shared, “Every bit that you see in the film has happened somewhere and you may have read in the newspapers or seen around you.” In fact, the film, which deals with disappearance of a theatre activist, according to him, is an “honest film and captures the emotional diversity that India offers.”
On his leading lady, Chowdhury was even more effusive, “As far as Yami’s acting is concerned, less is more as she has enacted her part with great conviction.” Yami too considers it as one of her most challenging parts and a very special film, more so since working with Chowdhry had been both a warm and an educative experience for her. And her co-star, veteran actor Pankaj Kapur, who plays her grandfather, was an added bonus.
If working with greats like Pankaj has been a lesson in itself, marriage to Aditya Dhar, an acclaimed director, has set her on the path of growth too, which in their industry is another word for success. While she can’t say whether marriage has made her a better actor or not and can’t put the experience of being married to ‘a brilliant mind’ in words, she did go on to reveal, “My husband doesn’t read my scripts for his would be a director’s perspective, but the exchange of ideas and varying points of view is rather enriching.” In her journey she may have experienced highs and lows, but as an actor she tries to be true to each character, be it the girl of today as in Lost or overtly dramatic as in Bala. In real life, however, in her first outing at IFFI, she was happy to be ‘myself’.
And she had added reasons to preen, as the premiere saw a packed house.
‘I am still learning’
Anupam Kher literally held audiences captive in a jam-packed Masterclass at IFFI which saw the gifted actor of movies like Saaransh and The Kashmir Files prove once again why he remains a cut above the rest. He spoke about how goof-ups like his first stage performance are a part of life. Of course, acting does not come without training and he is piqued why an engineer or a doctor is never asked about the need for training but an actor is. A trained actor, he believes, “Acting has no syllabus and I am still learning and would be even when I turn 90.”
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