Tag Archives: Rani

Rani Mukerji is back with ‘Hichki’


The acclaimed actress’ forthcoming film is an uplifting, inspiring entertainer.

Rani Mukerji’s next, Hichki, celebrates self-belief, resilience of human spirit and hope. The film is about turning disadvantages into opportunities and staring down at challenges and ultimately winning over them. She plays the role of Naina Mathur who has a nervous system disorder, Tourette Syndrome that forces an individual to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds.

YRF’s Hichki has been directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra and has been produced by Maneesh Sharma. The film is set to release in UK cinemas via Yash Raj Films on Feb 23, next year.

Interview: “I take complete inspiration from someone like Meryl Streep” – Rani Mukerji

Rani MukerjiBollywood royalty Rani Mukerji was in the English capital last month to attend a charity dinner held by the British Asian Trust. 

The event was also attended by The Prince Of Wales, who is the charity’s president, and The Duchess Of Cornwall along with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi; music and television producer, Simon Cowell and X-Factor Judge, Louis Walsh among many others. 

This year’s event was in support of The British Asian Trust’s work in empowering disadvantaged people in South Asia to transform their lives. This year’s event also marked the launch of a new anti-trafficking fund for India to build on work which the British Asian Trust has already been doing to support vulnerable girls affected by violence and abuse.

Rani Mukerji also addressed the guests at the event and spoke about child trafficking, something the Mardaani actress feels strongly about.  

Our Bollywood correspondent Sunny Malik caught up with Rani where she spoke about the event, her last film Mardaani and much more…

You come to London pretty often. What do you love about the UK, besides the fact that you have a huge fan base here?
I can’t put it in words as I can only feel this. As actors, we put a lot of effort into our work when we are performing for a film. Our main agenda is to make our fans happy. The fact that I have a fan base so far away from India is a nice feeling. It’s nice to know that NRI’s or people who watch Indian films in the UK like my work. It reassures me that whatever I am doing is right. It gives me the feeling that since they are liking my work, I can do better and achieve more.

Rani Mukerji (1)You attended the British Asian Trust charity dinner in London as the guest of honour recently. How important was it for you to be here?
I think it is very important to be speaking at a platform or at an event, where people come together for a cause. The theme was anti-trafficking. My recent film Mardaani brought this issue, child trafficking, into the limelight and it became a national topic in India. That speaks a lot for a film. Usually, films with a social cause do not perform well at the box office. Mardaani managed to make noise among the audiences, the critics and did well at the box office. That goes to show how important the film was for India. It created awareness about a subject in India. I think, many people are still ignorant about it. They do not believe that this can happen to their own children. Every eight minutes, a girl disappears in India. There a millions of girls who are trafficked and sold daily. In India people reacted positively to the film. Parents started enrolling their children into Karate classes to empower them and for them to defend themselves. When I was invited to talk at the platform for the British Asian Trust, I felt it was important to make noise about this issue. It was my absolute honour to share the stage with Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. He has been supporting this case for about forty-five years. To have someone like him with me on stage to talk about these important issues meant a great deal to me. Mardaani also resonated with people overseas and hence, I was invited to London.

Mardaani Poland 1Mardaani recently premiered in Poland. Did you ever imagine that a film like Mardaani will receive such international appreciation?
Honestly, I didn’t. But somewhere in my heart, while I was completing the film, I knew that the cause that we are showing in the film is a global problem. There are thousands of Eastern European girls trafficked into the United Kingdom. Every country in the world is suffering from the issue of child trafficking. I never imagined that my film will release in Poland. That came to me as a pleasant surprise. Usually, it’s the big films that are made with a hundred crore budget that get a wide international release. It was also good to see that the 75 percent of the audience that attended the premiere in Warsaw were Polish. That includes fans, press, local actors and producers and normal audiences. It was a huge honour for me to represent my entire team there who had worked on the film and also those who worked on the research for Mardaani. When we were researching for the film, people were extremely happy that we are making a film on this issue. We weren’t glamorising it. We were simply showing the truth. We didn’t over-exaggerate or melodramatise the issue.


Don’t you think that dubbing Hindi movies for an international audience is the next step forward?
I think it would be great. The Polish audience saw the film with Polish subtitles. They related with the film and were emoting with the characters in the movie. I feel that somewhere there is hope. I am sure that films with an international appeal that tackle social problems or have human stories, will then have a wider audience. Today people around the world are quite accepting to see movies from India. It could be the next way forward. That decision, however, is with the distribution and production team. They will consider whether it will add value to their project.

Mardaani Poland 3You once said you only do a film if the script excites you. Do other factors not matter to you?
What really matters to me first is the script and what my character has to do in accordance with the script. These two things are of utmost importance. It is also important to know whom the film is being produced by. India probably makes the highest number of films in a year worldwide. We have so many different languages and we produce around nine hundred films a year. It is important to know who the producer is in a country where films are being made so rampantly. That is because you can be part of a great film but it may not get a good release and not reach the audiences correctly. Hence, it is important along with the script and subject, to choose the right production house which can take the film to places. Many films stay in the cans and never see a release. These two things are very important when I sign a film.

Award shows recently celebrated what we call “women-centric movies”. Do you feel audiences in India are now more accepting of females playing the central character in movies?
You know, I am very surprised when almost everyone talks like that. We are an industry where we had Nutan act in films like Sujata, Bandini and we had Nargis in films like Mother India. I don’t see it as a great shift that people are suddenly accepting these kind of films. We had heroines in the sixties who worked in projects where they were the main lead. Those films were blockbuster. People are now suddenly warming up to the fact that there are movies with woman protagonists that are doing well. I think it has always been happening. It’s just that every particular decade we have a trend of audiences getting attracted to a kind of cinema. It started with Rani Mukerji (2)Mr. Bachchan in the seventies where the angry young man role became popular. In the eighties, we had masala movies doing well. In the nineties we had the NRI movies that became a trend. In the 2000s, we had indie kind of films doing well like Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai, which probably would not have been known as popular cinema ever before. These kind of films started doing well. That is only because India as country, has a vast population and the youth is changing every year. With the exposure of foreign films that youngsters can watch online and with Hollywood movies that they can watch in India now, they are yearning for similar movies from Indian film-makers. I think, whenever there is good content, the film will be successful regardless of who the protagonist is. 

Are you happy with the way your career has shaped up so far?
I have so many actors who inspire me. I take complete inspiration from someone like Meryl Streep. The kind of films that she is even churning out today, is inspiring. For an actor like me, there are still many interesting projects and films. Not only from India, as I would be more than glad to be a part of films from abroad.  I would not dare to say that I am very happy and satisfied the way my career has shaped. There is a long way to go

A version of this article appeared in Asian Sunday Newspaper 1st March 2015. 

Photos: ‘Talaash’ music launch

The most awaited film from Bollywood of 2012, Talaash, is here and the film, which is a suspense drama, is accentuating the mystery, right from the kickoff of its promotional campaign i.e. the music launch which took place last week and was a huge extravaganza. The launch was attended by leading actor Aamir Khan, actress Rani Mukherji, producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, director Reema Kagti, Javed Akhtar and Zoya Akthar amongst others. 

The entire venue was turned into Hotel Lido which is one of the notorious hotels that Aamir Khan’s character goes to, in the film. The hotel is almost like a key character in the film hence keeping in mind its importance, the makers thought that re-creating the ambiance of Hotel Lido would be not only an innovative idea, but it will also have relevancy with the content of the film.

The Soundtrack of Talaash has been composed by Ram Sampath and the music director was praised by Aamir for his work in the off-beat hit film Delhi Belly, which Khan produced himself.

Speaking about working with female directors, Khan said: “I have worked with Deepa Mehta (1947 Earth) and my wife Kiran Rao (Dhobi Ghat) earlier. So it’s not that I’m working for the first time with a female director. It doesn’t matter if director is a male or female. That he/she is good as a person matters for me. I loved working with Reema. She knows  exactly what she wants. She was a big help and guide to me as an actor. I discovered that  I could completely trust her.”

 Talaash was originally scheduled to release in December last year and then earlier this year in June. The makers of the film then announced a new release date of 30th November for a worldwide release. “The film was completed last year in November but we wanted to make a good film. Reema Kagti, my director, took some time in editing. The final product looks good and we have no regrets about the delay,” said Aamir. 

“My role didn’t require too much research as in the case of Sarfarosh where I played a cop too. The inputs for this role were different. No role is easy to play. I try to get into the mindset of the character. I don’t want to compete with anyone. Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have been cops earlier but this is very different. My character is struggling with his past. This is not an out and out entertainer, but I liked it. It is dark, intense and edgy. After a long time people will get to see suspense drama in Hindi films,” added the 47-year-old actor about his reprising the role of a cop after several years. 

Talking about rumours that the film was offered to Don actor Shah Rukh Khan first, Khan said: “I wasn’t aware that my film was first offered to Shahrukh Khan. I don’t keep a tab on the first choice of my films. Maybe I’ll ask this question to the filmmakers henceforth.”

Talaash releases in UK cinemas on 30th November 2012. 

Enjoy the full songs of Talaash here: 





‘Aiyya’ is a risk – Rani

Rani Mukherji has admitted that her upcoming  film Aiyyaa is a risk as audiences are not used to this kind of cinema.

Directed by National Award winning director Sachin Kundalkar, it sees the 34-year-old actress as a Pune-based Marathi girl Meenakshi Deshpande whose parents want to her to get married. But she falls in love with a Tamil painter as she is attracted by his body odour.

Aiyyaa is one such risk that I have taken because not only the script is whacked-out, but also the filmmaking style that Sachin has adapted is very different to what our Hindi audience is used to watching,” she told IANS.

However the Black actress is confident that from young girls to grandmothers everyone will be able to relate to the film.

 “I am not talking about just a section of people in the city. When you see pan India, every girl wants to be independent and make her choice in terms of a life partner. Unfortunately, some girls don’t have the liberty to make that choice because they are burdened with the thought that this is what they have to follow,” said Rani.

 “Not only young girls, but mothers and grandmothers, who have been through this situation in their lives, will relate to my character,” she added.

After actors like Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan and Chitrangada Singh, Rani has done a sensuous Lavani number in the film.

“I don’t think those were (a Lavani dance) in true sense but what I have done in the film is an authentic Lavani,” she said.

Aiyyaa will also introduce southern star Prithviraj Sukumaran when it releases in UK cinemas through Tip Top Entertainment on 12th October 2012.

Watch Dreamum Wakeupum from the film here: