Almost four decades later, Seema Pahwa is still the simple, introverted Badki from classic TV show Hum Log to many, but the actress is only days away from the release of her directorial debut feature Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, which made her feel like it has to be “complete”. .
The actress, who made her debut in the landmark television series Hum Log in 1984, has also become popular with younger audiences thanks to her performance in recent films such as Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.
“As an actor you can only do your best in the role you play, but as a director you are fully involved in a project from start to finish… I felt like I was complete during the making of Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. I felt like I knew the entire screen. “
“The feeling and the experience are different and wonderful. I think being a director completes me, ”Seema Pahwa told PTI in an interview.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi revolves around a north Indian middle class family who come together for 13 days to perform the Tehrvi function after the head of the family (Naseeruddin Shah) passes away.
The dramedy also stars Supriya Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Vikrant Massey, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Ninad Kamat and Seema Pahwa’s husband Manoj Pahwa.
The debut director said the story came from a personal experience.
“During my father’s death, I learned that people come to offer their condolences, but you find it funny when they ask how and when it (death) happened, and this leads to funny situations, one-liners, etc.”
“In the film, Amma (Pathak) repeats the same story over and over about her husband’s death. In reality, I think that’s when you get nervous. We don’t know how to react, so we end up asking the same questions, ”she said.
Seema Pahwa, 58, said the idea for this movie came to her mind a while ago, but it wasn’t until she was working on the critically acclaimed 2014 drama Ankhon Dekhi that she decided to write it down.
“When I made Ankhon Dekhi and the recognition it received, it gave me the impetus to write this story. Then it took the form of the script as I continued writing. Many friends suggested that I direct it. In 2017 I got it right with dialogues and next year I did it. “
She has always been fascinated by family dramas when she was born into a common family, said the actor-director.
Seema Pahwa drew parallels with the Hum Log film and said the Doordarshan show is still remembered today as it told the story of a middle-class family.
“Middle-class families still exist today. Almost 80 percent of the people in India come from civil society. When these stories are told, people become attached to them, ”she noted.
She said the cast of Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi immediately agreed to make the film.
“I was sure that nobody would say no. There can be budget issues as this is a tight budget film and these are all established actors. I told them if they don’t want to work, it’s fine. But they all supported me. Naseer Sahab didn’t even charge money; he worked for free. “
The film, supported by Jio Studios and Drishyam Films, was due to hit theaters earlier on November 22nd, but has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It should now hit cinemas on January 1, 2021.
For a film to be successful, the content should be good, Seema Pahwa said, adding that she hopes the film does well, provided the pandemic doesn’t spoil the game.
“It’s hard to say that a star who is only part of the movie will do well. When we watch some of the latest movies from top stars, they flopped at the box office. The most important thing is that a film can appeal to the audience. The only thing that can prevent people from seeing a movie in a theater is COVID-19 as they may be afraid to venture out, “she said.
Even before her first film as a director was released, the filmmaker said she was ready to direct another family drama.
“COVID-19 taught us the importance of family and loved ones. It taught us a lot about life, as if we don’t need certain things and can survive without them. There are some people who enjoy watching family dramas. “
“I’m ready to do another film, but I’m waiting for a producer (to support him). The film with the good content is still having problems … First we are asked who you want to cast. ” She said.