“I realized the importance of Postman through TAPAAL”
In conversation with award winning Marathi film actress Veena Jamkar for her film TAPAAL, directed by Bollywood’s renowned cinematographer-turned-director, Laxman Utekar. Here are the excerpts:
How you became a part of TAPAAL?
I got a call from producer Mangesh Hadawale, whose film TINGYA I had watched. He said that ENGLISH VINGLISH DOP is making a debut in direction with Mararthi film TAPAAL. I was extremely excited because we have seen ENGLISH VINGLISH and really loved his work. I was thoroughly impressed. At that time I was like when we will get to work with such talents. So when Mangesh told that he suggested my name to Laxman, I was on cloud nine. It was like dream come true.
Did Laxman’s Bollywood background attract you to sign TAPAAL?
I don’t believe that if you will work with a Bollywood personality then it will pave the way for you. I just believe that you keep doing good work and whatever is best for you will come to you. When I first met Laxman and the way he narrated me the story, I realized that he is not only a good cameraman but also a sensible director. A lot depends on the way a director narrates his story. I was game for it. The film shaped up very well. I was curious to work with Laxman because his work is damn good not because he is from Hindi film industry.
Were you apprehensive working with DOP-turned-director Laxman Utekar?
On the contrary; I was excited that I was first time working with a cinematographer turned director. Moreover, I have worked with lot of first time directors and my experience with them has been really good. It’s easy to judge a person and his sensibilities. So it didn’t take much time for me to realize that Laxman was making something exceptional.
Very few people have that capability of telling you or guiding you in right direction or narrating the story well. People like Mahesh Manjrekar are such. He never gives the script to his actors because then the actors will come prepared, which he doesn’t like at all. He thinks actor should be spontaneous on the sets. Likewise, Laxman also narrates in a way that gives you a scope to understand your character/role best… And the best part was Laxman single-handedly did everything, which was quite surprising. From doing the camera work to being a director to guiding everyone, that was very interesting…He was very energetic. Even after handling so many tasks he was calm and composed in his work. He never abused or lost his temper.
We heard TAPAAL was made in the scorching heat of May. Share us about the experience of shooting in such conditions?
The film was shot in Junnar in the scorching heat of April-May. I almost finished 3-4 bottles of sun tan lotion behind it. I used to get up at 4 in the morning for make-up thing because we wanted to shoot in a particular light and obviously for hot climate reasons we had to complete it earlier. In the afternoons, Laxman used to shoot indoors only. Sometimes the shoot locations were very pretty far, so we had to travel all the way to the interiors. We always respected our director’s time. We never had that sort of problem because Marathi actresses are pretty sincere. Since they have come from theatre background, they know how to adjust with situations and people without throwing any starry tantrums. There is a scene where we (Nandu Sir and I) are beaten up for hardly 2 minutes or so, but