Tired of waiting for good roles, Sarika makes a comeback with 'Modern Love: Mumbai'
Tired of waiting around for good roles to come her way, the talented actor Sarika, who had taken a break from acting, returns to the screen after a gap of five years with the web series Modern Love: Mumbai.
This is not the first time Sarika has taken a break. Her first break happened in 1986, when she and her former husband, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan became parents. The actor returned to the screen in the mid-2000s with off-beat films like Bheja Fry, Manorama Six Feet Under and Parzania. The light-eyed actor, who started acting on the silver screen when she was child, won the National Award for best actress for Parzania, where she plays a harried mother hunting for her son who goes missing after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In the next decade, Sarika starred in the TV show Yudh and in the 2016’s film Baar Baar Dekho, in which she played Siddharth Malhotra’s mother. That marked her last cinematic outing.
In an interview to PTI, 61-year-old Sarika said, “I have taken quite a few breaks, but the thought went only last time when I took a sabbatical, which was in 2016. I was just tired waking up everyday, going to sleep, without getting a good role or a good script. As actors, we just keep waiting. It just made me very angry at that point, not as an actor but as a person, wasting my life, just waiting for that.”
Coincidentally, 63-year-old actor Neetu Singh too revealed in a recent interview that she is happy to be back in front of the camera after so many years. The actor, the mother of Ranbir Kapoor, is waiting for the release of her film Jug Jugg Jeeyo, where she is paired with family friend Anil Kapoor.
Child actor in films to theatre
Sarika made her debut in cinema in the mid-1960s as a child actor with films such as Majhli Didi and Hamraaz. She was also paired with Sachin in Geet Gaata Chal and the duo gave many hit films together. In the 1980s, she was often portrayed as the western gal who never gets the hero and seen in small roles in films like Rishi Kapoor’s Yeh Vaada Raha.
After her relationship with Kamal Hasaan, she took her first sabbatical and then moved to a different, all-new territory of costume designing for the acclaimed 2000 drama Hey Ram, which bagged her a National Award. In the period post Baar Baar Dekho, the actor ventured into theatre.
“You have to make a conscious decision that you are not going to do this for sometime, only then can you do something else. Otherwise you will always be in two boats. I just thought I will not do it for a year, so I went to the theatre, did backstage which was totally away from my zone. That turned out so good that now its five years!” she added.
But the actor said she could not stay away from the screen for too long and one phone call from filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava brought her back in front of the camera for the Mumbai chapter of the popular US original anthology series Modern Love.
In the upcoming Prime Video anthology, the actor features in the short My Beautiful Wrinkles, co-starring A Suitable Boy actor Danesh Razvi and Ahsaas Channa.
The segment chronicles a few days in the life of Dilbar Sodhi, a woman in her 60s played by Sarika, who has to grapple with a young man’s declaration of sexual interest in her.
“She is rattled. But it sets her on a path of dealing with the baggage from her past, and re-discovering the joy of life. Wrinkles notwithstanding,” the official synopsis by the streamer read.
Sarika said she wanted to work with Shrivastava since the directors 2017 breakout film Lipstick Under My Burkha.
“What also worked was the script, the character, the way it was written. I knew working with Alankrita would be a wonderful experience. As an actor I could see the way the character was evolving and I knew I would have a lot of fun doing it. It was not something which was boring, or something that I had done before. There is nothing simple about my character,” pointed out Sarika.
Even though the actor has more than four decades of acting experience, she said her attempt is to keep reaching out to newer audiences and not rest upon the glory of her past work.
“There is never a day when you feel, I have done it all. If you have to be relevant, you have to keep working. You can’t say, I did that film, in that year, it was brilliant because it is finished.
“It could be beautiful, but it has gone. If I want the younger generation to see my work, I have to keep working. You are never done. One year down the line, I must look at another set of audience and see if I can reach out to them as well with my newer work,” she added.
Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, Modern Love: Mumbai will premiere on May 13.
(With Agency inputs)