Naseeruddin Shah says wife Ratna Pathak isn’t like ‘rasmalai’ all the time, reveals key to their long marriage

Actor Naseeruddin Shah said that the key to his long marriage with wife Ratna Pathak Shah is that they’ve never set ‘fixed expectations’ of each other, and that they’ve maintained their friendship despite all the ups and downs. He said that it’s not like she is ‘rasmalai (sweet)’, and that she is capable of saying ‘kadwi baatein (harsh words)’, but that they are very fortunate to have been able to resolve every conflict that has come their way.

In an interview on the We Are Yuvaa YouTube channel, the veteran actor said that he grew up in a very patriarchal environment, where women weren’t allowed to study and hypermasculinity was championed, and that he didn’t want to repeat those same mistakes. He also recalled how he met Ratna, and how their relationship has evolved. “We did a play together when she was 17. I don’t know what it was about her, but I took a liking to her. And as the days went by, our friendship grew stronger. And I realised that she is a very responsible person, and a very meticulous person. I’m all over the place, but we’ve found a balance,” he said.

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Naseer added, “But I believe our marriage has worked because neither of us had any fixed expectations from each other. We didn’t assign fixed roles for each other. Although I told her that I don’t know how to cook food immediately. But I offered to clean up and do the dishes. More or less, everything has been a surprise. And I kept discovering new things about her, new qualities. And I hope she has as well. But most importantly, we’ve maintained our friendship.”

He said that he has seen his entire family follow a patriarchal set-up, and that he never wanted to repeat the same mistake and behave as if he’s the ‘lord of the house’. ‘Khana lagao, paani laao (Give me food, bring me water)’, I never did all this, nor did I impose such a dynamic. We consult with each other about everything. I believe she is a more capable person than me,” he said, adding with a laugh, “I’m sure I can beat her in a physical fight, but I don’t need to test her skills, she’s very strong.”

Naseer and Ratna got married in 1982. They’ve previously spoken about the uphill battle that they had to face in convincing their parents about their bond, because Ratna’s folks didn’t think too highly of Naseer, who had been married previously, and Naseer’s father was against most of his life choices, which included becoming an actor.

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Naseeruddin Shah says he couldn’t watch RRR, Pushpa because of hypermasculinity: ‘Watched PS, Mani Ratnam has no agenda’

Senior actor Naseeruddin Shah recently opened up about the showcase of hypermasculinity in films and revealed that he couldn’t watch films like RRR and Pushpa: The Rise. He also questioned what people get from enjoying such films and said he wouldn’t watch them. However, he said he liked Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan. Also read: Charlie Chopra: Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak and sons come together for gripping murder mystery

Naseeruddin Shah talked about hypermasculinity in films and said he wouldn’t watch such films.

Naseeruddin Shah on hypermasculinity

Naseeruddin Shah was asked about people’s fascination with hypermasculinity in reference to films like Kabir Singh. The senior actor said in an episode of Be A Man Yaar, “Mardo ki insecurity badh rahi hai isiliye aur bhi zayda zor diya ja raha ha hypermasculinity ko. America me toh Marvel ki duniya chal rahi hai, sab superhero hai (The insecurity of men is increasing which is why hypermasculinity is being stressed. Even in America with the Marvel Universe it is happening).” He said that the same is also happening with films in India, however, he opined that films like A Wednesday are also being liked by the audience.

Naseeruddin Shah couldn’t watch RRR, Pushpa

“The acceptance of smaller films, those made by Anurag like Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, Gulmohar will find its place. I’m pretty sure because I have great faith in younger generation,” he added. He also said he wonders what people get from watching films which highlight hypermasculinity except for thrill. “I am RRR, I tried to see Pushpa, but I couldn’t see her. I watched Mani Ratnam’s film completely because he is a capable filmmaker; He has no agenda. I can’t imagine, apart from the thrill of seeing your heart’s feelings that have been hidden, there is a feeling of happiness in feeding them which often lasts for many days. Main aise filmin kabhi dekhne na jau (I couldn’t watch RRR and Pushpa. But, I did watch Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan because he is an eminent filmmaker with no agenda. I cannot imagine what people get from watching these films. I would never watch them).” In a different segment of the same interview, he also questioned women liking RRR and said, “I don’t know how many women liked RRR.”

RRR, Pushpa and Ponniyin Selvan are among the most successful pan-India films released in the past few years. RRR is directed by SS Rajamouli and was a global hit with its song Naatu Naatu winning India’s first-ever Best Original Song award at the Oscars. Pushpa stars Allu Arjun and was one of the commercially hit films which revived the box office after the pandemic.

Naseeruddin Shah, Kiran Rao call out films for being regressive, jingoistic; makers, stars urge, ‘Watch our films first’

Actor Naseeruddin Shah sparked a debate of sorts when he slammed films such as The Kerala Story, The Kashmir Files and Gadar 2, calling them a “dangerous trend and jingoistic”. Soon after, filmmaker Kiran Rao, made another statement that films with regressive messaging earning crores at the box office, hurts. We talk to makers and actors of the said films, besides others members of the fraternity, who are pretty taken aback by such comments, and defend the cinema they are a part of.

Naseeruddin Shah, Kiran Rao attack The Kerala Story, The Kashmir Files, and Gadar 2; makers, actors defend

Naseerudin Shah said, “Now the more jingoist you are, the more popular you become, because this is what has been ruling this country. It’s not enough to love your country; but beat drums about it, and you have to create imaginary enemies. What these people don’t realise is that what they are doing is very harmful. In fact, films like Kerala Story and Gadar 2, I haven’t seen them, but I know what they are about. It’s disturbing that films like Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas films made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times, don’t get seen. It’s frightening where filmmakers are being co-opted into making films which praise all the wrong things and run down other communities for no reason at all. It’s a dangerous trend.”

Meanwhile, responding to a question at Toronto Film Festival, filmmaker Kiran Rao, not naming any film, told Film Companion that it hurts with films with regressive messaging earns crores.

“When it is a really regressive sort of messaging, and it makes hundreds of crores, it hurts. Because you had the opportunity and you could have pushed the needle in some direction and you didn’t. So those are the things that sometimes bother me. Having said that, every filmmaker has their goals and they are going to do what they do. But it would be really nice if the big films, the kind that audiences love and earn lots at the box office, were also doing some of that important work for us. Building our society in a more positive way, not stereotyping people, in fact breaking some of those regressive ideas down or in some way opening up those conversations,” Rao said.

Now, the directors and actors from respective films have reacted to Naseeruddin Shah’s comments, and expressed disappointment that someone had made such strong remarks without even watching the said films.

Here’s what they said:

Anil Sharma, Director, Gadar 2

If the public likes a film, we are no one to comment on that. Naseer bhai mere priya hain. I have done Tahalka (1992) with him, and it was a commercial entertainer. He knows very well that I make this kind of cinema, so I really don’t know what promoted him to make such a statement. Bridge 2 is a patriotic film, and I request that he should watch the film first, and I’m sure he’ll change his opinion. I want to tell everyone that when Anil Sharma makes a film, he makes it paisa vasool. Main shiksha ke liye films nahi banaata. I just want to entertain people, and yahi mera andaaz hai. I am not against any religion or country.

Sudipto Sen, Director, The Kerala Story

Ek aadmi bina film dekhe comment kare, toh woh paagalpan hai. Hum unko respect karte hain, but thoda responsible kaam toh karte. I worked on this film for 10 years, and it was approved by the CBFC after two months of scrutinising. If he hasn’t even seen the film and still commented, then that is a dangerous trend for the country. He has the right to comment, but it is just childish, what more can I say. So many technicians worked on it, it should be respected. Yeh shobha nahi deta hai unhe. He is a school of acting by himself, and he has put a big question mark on his reputation. I respect Naseer ji, but calling my film jingoistic is such an irresponsible comment from someone who hasn’t even watched it yet.

Vivek Agnihotri, Director, The Kashmir Files

It’s an absolutely crazy statement to make on Naseeruddin’s part, and that too after he has worked with me on The Tashkent Files. Like I said earlier, I have zero tolerance for terrorism, and he wishes to support them, I don’t know what to say, and I don’t care about what he has said. And yes, Bollywood dumbs down the audience, and sells regressive films. Nobody talks about it because they come with big stars, and everyone is scared of them. It is a regressive process. For example, Playboy sells more than Geeta, and playboy is the hero. Cocaine is celebrated more than apple, so cocaine is respected more. Regression is being mainstreamed, dumbing down is being glorified.

Adah Sharma, Actor, The Kerala Story

My elders have always taught me to respect all kinds of opinions and not necessarily those that align with mine. Moreover, after such massive love from the audience and it being the highest female grossing film of all time, I cannot be anything but grateful. It would be so nice if members of the society would watch a movie before commenting on it. However, if they want to comment without watching, I guess that’s also fine. I respect my seniors in the industry so we welcome Mr. Shah’s input. I feel fortunate to be born in a country where freedom of speech is allowed. Ours is a flourishing democracy and everyone has a right to an opinion.

Manish Wadhwa, Actor, Gadar 2

Naseerudin has his own way of thinking and has an individual point of view, and I cannot really change anyone’s opinion about something. However, if I talk particularly about our film, Bridge 2it had everything that a film should have. Comedy, emotions, action, entertainment, everything. It is about patriotism and if you see, film mein sabko jodne ki baat ki thi. Jahan filmein todne ki baat karein, toh woh galat hai. But, I don’t see anything wrong with our film.

Puneet Issar, Actor, The Kashmir Files

Naseeruddin Shah is an idiot of the highest order, and just a loose cannon. He is such a great actor and I respect him, but this is just not done. His statements are very uncalled for. He has got verbal diarrhea. Rajesh Khanna is also made fun of. Someone should have told him that Rajesh Khanna’s flop picture would have earned as much money as he hasn’t even earned in his lifetime. More than half of the junta has liked The Kashmir Files, that film is running on its own. You have to accept the audience’s verdict. You yourself are not a superstar but have been found in commercial films, so you have eaten grapes. And if he shuns commercial cinema so much, then why did he do Jalwa and other such films? Voice of people is the voice of God.

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Pallavi Joshi Responds To Naseeruddin Shah’s Criticism of The Kashmir Files: ‘It Had Shut Them…’ – News18

Naseeruddin Shah had stated the success of The Kashmir Files was ‘disturbing’ to him.

Pallavi Joshi says that she didn’t need to win the National Award for The Kashmir Files to shut down detractors. She also takes a dig at Naseeruddin Shah.

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah’s comment on being ‘disturbed’ with the success of The Kashmir Files led to a debate of sorts on social media. “It’s disturbing that films like The Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas films made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times don’t get seen. But these filmmakers mustn’t lose heart and continue telling stories,” he said in an interview.

Now, actor-producer Pallavi Joshi shares her opinions on Shah’s thoughts. Shah and Joshi had collaborated on films like The Tashkent Files (2019), Tahalka, Panaah (both 1992) and Rihaee (1988) over the years.

While she maintains her respect for Shah, she tells us that separating the art from the artist is possible only till a certain extent. Quiz her if she would want to work with Shah again and Joshi asserts, “Yes, provided they aren’t talking behind my back. We don’t work with such people because they won’t stay true to the project.”

But does she think that winning the National Award for The Kashmir Files will help shut down critics? “No, it had shut them down long back. It didn’t take a National Award to do that. I think the success of the film was enough,” says the actor, who is awaiting the release of The Vaccine War.

Joshi goes on to reveal that winning the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Kashmir Files came as ‘a big surprise’ to her. Talking about it, she remarks, “Even though I was very sure that the film would win, I didn’t think I would win. It was the kind of film I knew that wouldn’t go unnoticed.”

In 2021, Joshi won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Tashkent Files while Agnihotri bagged the award for Best Dialogues. This year too, Agnihotri won the National Award for the Best Feature Film on National Integration. For Joshi, the fact that she has won the top award of the country with her husband for the second time makes it even more special.

The actor says, “This has happened for the second time, which is a record. What makes me the happiest is that Vivek and I as a husband and wife duo won National Awards in the same year for the same film. We established the record last year and we’re repeating it this year. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction. And while I’m on my third, Vivek has suddenly come from nowhere (laughs). He came into the industry much after me and he’s on his second National Award already, so I’m extremely proud of him.”

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Vivek Agnihotri hits back at Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shahwho has worked with Vivek Agnihotri in his 2019 film ‘The Tashkent Files`, spoke about the success of Gadar 2, The Kerala Story, and The Kashmir Files with the Free Press Journal. In his interview, the actor shared, “Films like Kerala Story and Gadar 2, I haven’t seen them, but I know what they are about. It’s disturbing that films like Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas movies made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times, don’t get seen.”

Now Vivek Agnihotri has hit back at the veteran actor. In an exclusive interview with Zoom, when Vivek was asked how he felt after ‘A Wednesday’ actor’s comment about his film, he said, “I am a great admirer of Naseer sahab that`s why I had cast him in The Tashkent Files. But I don`t know of late why he has grown old, and if that`s the case, then I should not say anything. Sometimes, people are frustrated with a lot of things, or maybe he feels he is getting exposed with the truth of The Kashmir Files; something about him is getting exposed. People generally don`t like being naked in front of people through somebody else`s art. There is something wrong, there is something not right with what Naseer keeps saying.”

He further continued and shared, “I mean, he is happy doing films that support genocide, he has acted in movies that supports genocide, perhaps he has because of his religion or because of his frustration. For whatever reasons, perhaps he likes to support terrorists, I don`t. I don`t even care what Naseer says because I have zero tolerance for terrorism, maybe he loves them, and I don`t care.”

On the work front, Naseeruddin Shah will next be seen in Vishal Bhardwaj`s Charlie Chopra alongside his wife, Ratna Pathak Shah, and their two sons, Vivaan Shah and Imaad Shah. Meanwhile, Vivek Agnihotri is gearing up for the release of his upcoming film ‘The Vaccine War’ on September 28. The film stars Anupam Kher, Nana Patekar, Sapthami Gowda, and Pallavi Joshi in the lead roles.

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Naseeruddin Shah Finds Films Like The Kerala Story, Gadar 2 And The Kashmir Files ‘Disturbing’

New Delhi: Famous for his forthright comments, Naseeruddin Shah is back in the director’s chair after 17 years with ‘Man Woman Man Woman,’ which also stars Ratna Pathak Shah, his wife. Recently, Naseeruddin subtly criticised the Sunny Deol film Gadar 2 for being “jingoistic” and “regressive” in tone. Since its premiere on August 11, ‘Gadar 2’, directed by Anil Sharma, has broken several box office records. The film’s total box office earnings in India have exceeded Rs 500 crore mark.

In an interview with Free Press Journal, Naseeruddin Shah expressed concern that jingoism was becoming the driving force behind the success of Bollywood films.

He said, “Now the more jingoist you are, the more popular you become, because this is what has been ruling this country. It’s not enough to love your country, but beat drums about it and you have to create imaginary enemies. What these people don’t realise is that what they are doing is very harmful. In fact, films like ‘Kerala Story’ and ‘Gadar 2’, I haven’t seen them but I know what they are about.”

Additionally, Shah spoke out in favour of filmmakers who are attempting to create works that are honest representations of the society we live in. He explained, “It’s important that these filmmakers don’t lose heart and continue telling stories. They will be responsible for posterity. Hundred years later people will see Bheed and they will also see Gadar 2 and see which one portrays the truth of our times because film is the only medium which could do that.”

He added, “It’s hard to resort to abstraction and capture life as it is. So regressive is a pretty mild word for what’s going on.”

Naseeruddin Shah made his directorial debut in 2006 with ‘Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota’, which starred the late Irrfan Khan and Konkana Sen Sharma.

ALSO READ: Akshay Kumar Congratulates Shah Rukh Khan For Jawan’s Success Letter Says, ‘Aapne Dua Maangi…’

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Naseeruddin Shah Talks About His Cult-Classic Film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

New Delhi: Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has reminisced about his cult-classic film ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ in which he starred as a photographer.

The actor said that director Kundan Shah had a lot of footage before editing the film but he went on to ruthlessly chop the film at the edit table as he was very clear about the story.

Talking to IANS, Naseeruddin said: “I did the film because I found this script very funny and Kundan Shah, the director, was a very good friend. But, when I started working on it, I thought, ‘This is the stupidest film ever being made, if it is ever made’.”

The actor also shared that working on the film was a tough process as he had a different perspective of the character which wasn’t aligned with that of Kundan .

“And these were not the days of vanity van, we couldn’t afford a vanity van. In fact, the entire cost of production of ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ equals the production cost of one day’s shooting today. My thoughts about the character and how I would play it were vastly different from Kundan’s,” he said.

The actor told IANS: “We shot for almost 45 days and Kundan had so much material at hand that he had to ruthlessly edit the film. The amount of material that has been thrown out of ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ would make another film”.

“But Kundan was very clear in his head about what he wanted from the film, from the story and from his actors. He was very much influenced by the Marx Brothers and that reflects in the storytelling of ‘Jane Bhi Do Yaaro’,” he added.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)

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Naseeruddin Shah: Cannot put a finger on what excites me

Big or small, when Naseeruddin Shah is on screen, he is bound to steal the show. While the audience is thrilled to see him essay varied characters, the veteran actor prefers to be seen less. Ask him why, and he jokes, “I want to create curiosity about myself.” However, he explains that it was only at the age of 50 that he began getting interesting roles. Now 73, Shah, who was recently seen in Taj: Divided by Blood and Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo, is all set to appear in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Charlie Chopra.

“I do whatever I feel like doing. I cannot put a finger on what [roles] excite me. For Vishal, I thought I could try something I hadn’t tried before,” says the actor, who plays a doctor in Charlie Chopra. “Vishal is amazing; he goes on from one project to another without taking a breather. From Charlie Chopra to Khufiya [Bhardwaj’s next]he has already moved on to his next,” shares Shah.

While the actor shines in positive roles, his calibre is best realised in grey characters. But Shah is sceptical about playing an outright antagonist. “Commercial films have the tendency to paint characters in black and white. Villains are one-dimensional in commercial movies without contradictions or weaknesses,” he reasons, adding that compared to the films he did in his initial years, he has been getting meatier roles in the digital boom. “Now, parts are being written for actors and not famous faces. Where else would you get such fantastic actors like Pankaj Tripathi and Gitanjali Kulkarni? Would they have had the opportunity if everything depended on what the distributor wanted? They [distributors] determine how films should be made, but blame the audience for rejecting the movie when it’s the filmmakers’ fault. A discerning audience won’t reject anything that has genuine material in it.”

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Pics: Shahid Kapoor-Mira Rajput, Naseeruddin Shah-Ratna Pathak Shah And Others At Ruhaan Kapoor’s Wedding Bash

Shahid Kapoor pictured with Mira Rajput.

New Delhi:

Ruhaan Kapoor (son of Pankaj Kapur and Supriya Pathak) and Manukriti Pahwa hosted an intimate wedding bash in Mumbai on Saturday evening. The guest list comprised mostly family members. Ruhaan’s mom and veteran actress Supriya Pathak was all smiles. We also spotted his dad Pankaj Kapur at the venue. Ruhaan’s sister Sanah was all smiles. Of course Shahid Kapoor wouldn’t have missed his brother’s big day, so he showed up to the event with wife Mira Rajput by his side. Ruhaan’s aunt and veteran actress Ratna Pathak Shah attended the event with husband Naseeruddin Shah and sons Imaad and Vivaan.

See photos from the festivities here:

Ratna Pathak Shah attended the wedding bash with husband Naseeruddin Shah and sons Imaad and Vivaan.

Earlier this week, Shahid Kapoor had posted pictures from wedding festivities in the family (presumable Ruhaan’s) and he captioned the post, “Dad always says ghar pe shaadi hogi to pag paega na (If there’s a wedding at home, you need to tie turban).”

Shahid Kapoor, son of actors Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azeem, is best-known for his performances in films such as Udta Punjab, Haider, Jab We Met, “Padmaavat” and Ishq Vishk and the 2019 hit Kabir Singhco-starring Kiara Advani, to name a few.

On the work front, Shahid Kapoor was last seen in Raj and DK’s crime thriller series Farzi. Before that, he featured in the sports drama Jerseyin which he played the role of a cricketer. The original film was made in Telugu and it starred Nani in the lead role. The actor will also be seen in an untitled romantic film with Kriti Sanon and the action thriller Bloody Daddy.

Shahid Kapoor married Mira Rajput in July in 2015. Their daughter Misha was born a year later in August. Shahid and Mira are also parents to a son named Zain, who they welcomed in the year 2018.

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Naseeruddin Shah on box office hauls: ‘A large share is taken away by demons called distributors and exhibitors’

Naseeruddin Shah has said when a film performs well, the major part of the cream is always eaten away by distributors and exhibitors. The actor was speaking on the sidelines of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinema Projection in Mumbai, a BollywoodHungama report said. (Also read| When Naseeruddin Shah spoke about his first salary: ‘I got 7.5′)

Naseeruddin Shah during the felicitation ceremony for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinema Projection.(HT Photo)

Remuneration in filmmaking

Sharing his views on the low payment in various departments of filmmaking, Naseeruddin said, “The bitter truth is that those who work the hardest while making a film, their renumeration is the lowest. They stand in water till their waist and look after the broken electric wires. They carry reflectors. They carry bags on their shoulders and climb on the top and remain there throughout the day; nobody asks them for water or tea. Their payment is one-thousandth of those who sit on chairs under the fan while having sherbet and show attitude.”

‘Demons aka Distributors and Exhibitors’


Chief guest Naseeruddin Shah presented the awards at the Film Heritage Foundation awards ceremony.

He added, “The sad part is that this saga doesn’t end with the completion of the film. When the film gets completed and if it becomes successful, toh iski asli malaai distributors aur exhibitors naam ka darinde kha jaate hain (a large share of it is eaten away by the demons called distributors and exhibitors). And those who make our dreams come true, nobody knows them, and they are neither given respect nor rewards.”

Film Heritage Foundation workshop

Naseeruddin was the chief guest at the event organised by Film Heritage Foundation Wednesday evening. Workshops were also held as part of the event and Kamal Amrohi’s 1949 classic Mahal was also screened at Mumbai’s Regal theatre, as part of the Film Projection in Practice Workshop. Two newly-restored films – Tiger of Eschnapur (1938) and Nosferatu: The Symphony of Horrors (1922) – were screened at the cinema hall earlier this week.

Screenings at Film Projection in Practice Workshop

Regal Cinema’s Mohammed Aslam Fakih; National Film Archives of India’s P A Salam; and Amardeep Cinema and Raj Talkies’ (Raipur) Lakhan Lal Yadav were honoured with the awards. They also received 50,000 each in honour of their contribution to the field. They have all served the industry for more than 50 years.

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Flashback Friday: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi Film ‘Paar’, A Must Watch In Current Political

    Naseeruddin Shah turned 73 on Thursday. As everyone celebrated his hard-to-match legacy, we took a moment to revisit important chapters of filmography which created many India cinema defining moments; and we found a gem of a movie ‘Paar’. Starring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, ‘Paar’ got Naseeruddin Shah a Best Actor National Award and also the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 1984 Venice Film Festival. Why we mention the Volpi Cup is because no Indian actor since then or before that, ever won that title again. That’s a legacy unmatched!

New Delhi: Isn’t violence so commercial and visceral today? Filmmakers around the world have almost exploited and violated the premise of the Theatre of Cruelty movement( a form of theatre developed by Antonin Artaud which in the simplest terms meant an assault on the senses of the audiences by the artist). In the last few years, in Hindi cinema alone, the portrayal of violence has changed drastically.

Now, blood, gore, mental and physical forms of violence are not suggested on screen but are shown with the most minutest detail. Sometimes, as audiences, one gets a feeling that it is a scavenger race out there; about who gets the bloodiest scene right so as to impregnate the mind of the viewer about how effective the film/series is.

However, back in the 80s in India, in ‘Paar’ and many other films that were part of the Indian parallel cinema, violence was suggestive and yet, the effect achieved profound.

‘Couple’ plot

‘Paar’ is a story about casteism. In the Goutam Ghose directorial, Naseeruddin Shah ( Naurangia) and Shabana Azmi(Rama) play a couple from the marginalised section of society in rural Bihar in the 80s, who escape the village after a night of ghastly violence that kills unarmed civilians. This happens after four members of the lower caste( including Naurangia) kill an upper-caste man responsible for the death of a village schoolmaster.

‘Paar’ is a subtle take on all forms of violence.

In the first movement, ‘Paar’ is an exposition into the life of the marginalized section of the society which has suffered since centuries at the hands of the upper class & caste in India.

And, in the second movement( half), ‘Paar’ takes you on an intimate journey into the lives of Naurangia and Rama.

In this regard alone, ‘Paar’ is such a commendable balance of the macro and microcosm of the sufferings of one section of marginalised society.

Experiment with form in ‘Paar’

‘Paar’ is such a layered text as far as the experiment with form ( image & sound) is concerned.

Use of still photography, newspaper article readings and text on screen is done to bring out the story of violence in the village.

This is done in the most observational manner without a colouring of intentions.

The empathy is there from the start, but never in a manner that makes any idea, a propaganda.

Visuals of violence happening in the darkness of night and in a suggestive manner in most cases is actually a smart move; one, it does away the need to ace action sequences right for an indie film production, second, it is even more suggestive about the level of violence inflicted and leaves the rest to the audience’s imagination.

Among the many scenes; one that stays in the mind is the image of spectacle dangling from a tall flowery plant as the school master dies in another corner of a field.

There is also a use of mid shots when there are scenes involving divulging information about the horrors of casteism. Nowhere does Ghose take an intimate, involved approach in such scenes which involve Om Puri ( village pradhan, in special appearance).

However, mostly in the second half, as mentioned earlier, Ghose takes a more intimate approach with the use of closeups to bring out the suffering of Naurangia and Rama in Calcutta.

There are closeups on Rama and Naurangia’s face in the most dire of situations. Towards, the climax of ‘Paar’, as the two wait for an employer on the ghat of Ganga, we are shown a couple of closeups of sweat trickling down, eyes of lost hope, ants and bees humming and scourging their naked feet in the mud and that is more than anything to suggest their actual plight in the film. A scene that stays long after you have seen the film.

Another notable mention is the non-linear narrative structure,  so well-achieved and cut with differing timelines in ‘Paar’, sometimes complemented by the use of hauntingly sad melodies.

Performances of Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi in ‘Paar’

Both actors ace their parts and while in some places Shah’s accent looks slightly off, his performance makes up for it. Their mannerisms, dialogue and just about everything makes them a part of the story they want to tell. Nothing like the sanitised versions of poverty on display in films today.

Problems in ‘Couple’

Because we are viewing ‘Paar’ 40 years after it was made, with new sensibilities, there are some share of problems with the movie. However, they are not as grave as the ones marked in this day’s films of the same genre.


‘Paar’ has so much more to it than just the story which in itself is so layered.

The visuals and sound play such an important function in the narrative and in fact make the plot what it is.

To conclude, I would leave you behind with the image from the climax scene of the film; a hunger-driven man and a pregnant woman crossing the vast expanse of Ganga with a herd of 36 wild pigs for Rs. 20; the money they desperately need for food and a train ticket back home.

You can watch ‘Paar’ on YouTube and share your thoughts about the same.

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When Naseeruddin Shah spoke about his first salary: ‘I got ₹7.5 and it lasted me two weeks’

Naseeruddin Shah, who turned 73 on July 20, began his acting career with the 1975 Hindi film, Nishant. Over the next few decades, he acted in films such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) and Masoom (1983). In an old interview, Naseeruddin had recalled how he began acting, and also revealed what was his first salary. Also read: Naseeruddin Shah’s The Kerala Story comment slammed by Manoj Tiwari

Naseeruddin Shah, a renowned Hindi film actor, celebrates his 73rd birthday on July 20.

Naseeruddin Shah is known as one of the best actors in Hindi films. He often also shares his views on politics, history and society. He had earlier recalled that his first role was that of an extra in the 1967 film Aman. He had earned 7.50 for it.

Naseeruddin Shah’s first salary

Naseeruddin told Rediff in 2012, “As an extra when I was 16 in Aman made by Mohan Kumar. In the last scene where Rajendra Kumar is being taken for his funeral I am standing just behind him, looking very earnest. I got 7.50 and it lasted me two weeks.”

Naseeruddin on how he started acting

Further speaking about how he became an actor, Naseeruddin had said in the same interview, “My school did many plays. I was convinced I could do better than the kids who did them. When I failed in a class, my dad put me into another school. Here I got together with four friends and enacted scenes from The Merchant of Venice in front of a crowd. And at 14, I knew without doubt this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Suddenly, my grades got better, I got into the cricket team. It changed my life! And my poor misguided dad thought I was studying which I wasn’t!”

Naseeruddin Shah’s recent projects

Naseeruddin Shah was last seen in Taj: Reign of Revenge. The series also starred Aditi Rao Hydari, Rahul Bose, Sandhya Mridul, and Zarina Wahab. It premiered on Zee5 on May 12, 2023.

During promotions of the web series’ first season, Taj: Divided By Blood, Naseeruddin had talked about the various languages that are spoken in Pakistan. He had said that Sindhi was no longer spoken in Pakistan; his comment was slammed by many in Pakistan and the actor had later apologised for his ‘mis-statement about the Sindhi language in Pakistan’.

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