#Interviews

Privileged to Play A 49 Year Old Character At 49! Pooja Bhatt on ‘Rani’ of Bombay Begums

pooja bhatt bombay begums
Pooja Bhatt Bombay Begums character Rani has many elements of everyday realities of women hitting their menopause. The series, showcases emotions and experiences of women across different ages.

“Absolutely privileged to play a character who is 49, at the age of 49! And she carried the weight of life on her shoulders,” says Pooja Bhatt about her role Rani in Bombay Begums. Rani is a woman who is going through menopause and undergoes emotional and career struggles. A mom to a daughter, Rani’s character is of a woman who is fighting many battles at one go – both external ones with society and internal ones with herself.

“The society mostly decides for us, when we are desirable or not desirable, can be productive or cannot be productive. I think that Rani in that sense has fought many stereotypes to get her. What I discovered through the making of this show, and it’s true for not just me but for many women out there, is that it’s not always the men who gauge us but its us that kind of lock ourselves in a cage. A lot of the time the door is locked from inside. And all we have to do it to gently push it open and you are free. Rani to a large extent has done that in her life.”

Bhatt adds, “While she has played the power the equation and conquer a world meant to be male dominated, she is not forthcoming about the fact that her body is undergoing change. She is not okay to be seen vulnerable.”

Bombay Begums cast, Bombay Begums trailer, plabita borthakur

“It’s only when she puts her weaknesses on the table, she is able to bridge the gap with her 12 year old daughter Shai.” Pooja Bhatt says the relationship between Rani and her daughter Shai reminded her of conversations with her younger self three decades ago.

Director Alankrita Shrivastava in an exclusive chat with SheThePeople said, “For me the purpose is not to make films for the sake of it. I want to tell these kind of stories. My aim is to tell stories that I feel passionately about and feel drawn to.”

Is Shrivastava inclined to direct more women centred plot lines? She says, “Some how those stories are always about women. There is so much unexplored for the women on screen, cinema has mostly be moulded by men. There is so much out there, that I don’t feel the need to delve into this cis-gender privileged kind of universe. Because I don’t feel like I am interested in someone who is already on top of the privilege pile and I don’t want to keep perpetuating the status quo. I want to tell stories that are unexplored and I find that in these stories about women.”

Bombay Begums directed by Alankrita Shrivastava is the story of five women across different life moments, and ages. The show, on Netflix has five women in the lead. It’s the comeback journey of actor Pooja Bhatt who is well known for films like Sadak, Daddy and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin. Also in the series are Shahana Goswami, Plabita Borthakur, Amruta Subhash, Aadhya Anand, Rahul Bose, Danish Husain, Vivek Gomber, and Manish Chaudhari.

Bombay Begums will release on March 8, 2021.