Bhumi Pednekar on ‘Bhakshak’ and being a dependable performer for women-centric films

Feb 6, 2024

Bhumi Pednekar as Vaishali Singh in 'Bhakt'

Bhumi Pednekar as Vaishali Singh in 'Bhakt' Photo Credit: Netflix

In his upcoming film, eaterBhumi Pednekar plays Vaishali, a courageous freelance journalist who uncovers crime at a shelter home for homeless girls., Directed by Pulkit and produced by Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, the film will premiere on Netflix on February 9.

Bhumi is known for women-oriented films. They provide her with challenging roles so that she can immerse herself in it and give a solid performance. eater comes on the back of thank you for coming, in which she plays a woman searching for love and sexual pleasure, and a rumor, A powerful political drama. eater Bhumi says this is another film that reflects society's issues, although it is told in a different way than her previous films.

excerpts from the interview

Looking at the trailer, it seems that you have given a very ordinary performance in 'Bhakt'. As a journalist, you are reporting on a serious issue in a non-sensational and straightforward manner. What can you tell us about the character you play?

It was a conscious decision that we took. We have mostly seen journalism portrayed on screen in a particular way. So, we wanted to move away from that. Vaishali is a freelance journalist from a small town who does her work for the love of her profession and she wants to do it with dignity and integrity. Big corporate companies are not supporting her, and she doesn't come from a rich family either. Vaishali is not a policeman with her badge or gun power; She runs her business with a small camera, a cameraman and a van. She is not even going after any big story. In fact, when a big issue comes up, she is not hesitant in raising it. Vaishali is not a hero; She is a regular woman dealing with everyday issues. She has courage and pride at all times, but she doesn't wear it on her sleeve because the character had to be relatable.

Where did you get the reference for playing this unusual journalist?

The world to which Vaishali belongs is an independent circuit of media. We don't know their faces, but they are media professionals who are the first to come to the rescue in times of crisis, compared to some of the most successful journalists. I started researching about this world. I watched the YouTube channels of these freelance journalists and was curious to know how they find news stories without adequate resources. My director, who is a phenomenal filmmaker, gave me more information about the character.

Is 'Bhakt' a reflection of the scrutiny faced by the media or does it come across as a powerful social drama? What makes it different from other thrillers?

The intention of the film is to knock into our consciousness. Today, when we see an injured dog on the road, we do not call an ambulance or a doctor. We just drive across it. We see an accident and stop to take video. You hear loud noises from the house next to yours, and even though this has been happening for months, you do not intervene to see if the children and women in the house are okay. We are unaffected by the things that other people go through and the film wants to take advantage of that. eater is a social-drama thriller where Vaishali fights for orphans whose existence no one knows about.

Sanjay Mishra and Bhumi Pednekar in 'Bhakt'

Sanjay Mishra and Bhumi Pednekar in 'Bhakt'. Photo Credit: Netflix

You seem to be a bankable artist for films that we would broadly call female-oriented. How do you think this happened? Did you consciously pursue such roles?

I think I was a little lucky with my first film (haisha with breath,, This set the tone for my career. After that my tastes paid off commercially and critically. I found a group of filmmakers who showed faith in me as an actor. As a person too, I like films that leave an impact. My art is my way of becoming a solution to society's problems. Also, because of my mother (Sumitra Pednekar, anti-tobacco activist), I got to watch films with high content. I grew up watching movies like market (1982) and Market (1983). later i fell in love thousands of wishes like this (2005), rang De Basanti (2006), and Swades (2004).

In 'Thank You for Coming' you had to entertain as well as ensure that the message of the film reaches the audience. How did you crack the character?

thank you for coming It was my home ground. My existence is close to the world of films. I know women like him. If you stay away from the sexual problem shown in the film, I am also a part of it. Generally, the problems of urban women are not considered serious in our films. make that do thank you for coming exciting. My character is not ideal, and the idea was not to create a quintessential heroine. She's a mess, and I mean it nicely. He is not perfect because he is real.

Do you think the film deserved more love?

I saw a story that said the movie made people uncomfortable. We are living in 2023; What are we talking about? The film was accused of not protecting our culture and I was surprised. I realized that I had to do more of these films. thank you for coming It is a personal story of many women and I received a lot of love when the film released digitally. This will be one of the important films of my career.

Also read:'Afvaah' movie review: Sudhir Mishra's night in the market of rumors

Does comedy come naturally to you, or is it a skill you've honed over the years?

I have been a part of various types of comedy plays. husband wife and she It was a romantic comedy. Dialogues were very important in that film. If you do not speak such dialogues in the meter in which they are written, you will not be able to be funny. They are well thought out jokes. thank you for coming And Good luck, be more careful It is a situational comedy. There is more scope for improvement in such films because they are character-driven. congratulate me is a sensitive film that presents its subject matter in a humorous tone. In such films A lot depends on the reactions. The character of Raj (Rajkummar Rao) is very funny because I was the one reacting to his mischief. I had to play my character in such a way that I would get funny reactions. So, every film improves your skills.

You have been a part of films like 'Bheed' and 'Afvaah', which talk about the times we live in. Was it a challenge to attract the public for these films, which were not just entertaining? Would such films have been more accepted a decade ago?

Absolutely. I think this has been the situation even after the Covid-19 pandemic. Audience preferences change every two years. But I am not losing hope. see what happened 12th failed. This is not your so-called big-screen spectacle. However, the film is Entertaining and realistic. like movies crowd Or a rumor When they come on OTT they will always get an audience. Honestly, not many people went to watch these movies in theaters, but they got a lot of love on the streaming space.

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