Neena Gupta: The Last Color is a film made from the heart

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Written by Priyanka Sharma
| Mumbai |

December 15, 2020 7:52:41 am





Neena Gupta stars in Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna’s directorial debut The Last Color. (Photo: Neena Gupta/Instagram)

After travelling the world and garnering acclaim, Neena Gupta and chef-film director Vikas Khanna have introduced their maiden collaboration The Last Color to Indian cinema halls. “It’s a very strange feeling for me because I don’t intend on having any children, but I feel if ever I have a kid, this would be the feeling when I take my baby to meet mom,” Vikas describes The Last Color’s homecoming.

In this interview with indianexpress.com, Neena Gupta and Vikas Khanna discuss creating the world of The Last Color.

As a debut filmmaker, was it a tough option to take the film to the massive display amid the pandemic? Didn’t the OTT possibility look extra interesting?

Vikas: No. The film was purported to launch on Holi this 12 months. But the pandemic occurred, and after that, I had no respiration area due to Feed India. But I used to be very clear about the launch technique as a result of the variety of jobs that you just create while you launch a film in theatres was the larger precedence for me. And I’m pleased about taking that danger.

How did you react to The Last Color while you first heard the script and what was it wish to be in the world of The Last Color?

Neena: It is a very emotional story, and it’s written and directed emotionally. It’s a film made from the heart. I didn’t know a lot about the youngster widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi. So, after I did scenes displaying the life they lived, it began affecting my efficiency, each bodily and emotionally.

As you talked about, you didn’t know a lot about these girls and the restricted life that they had been dwelling. As a lady, how did you react to this world?

Neena: I knew a little about it. Like Vikas all the time says that in our homes and neighbourhood you see that they (widows) don’t go for weddings and don’t put on any color. I knew that beforehand. But I’ll inform you one thing. When I acquired into that white dhoti, wore torn slippers and went to the ghats, it simply used to occur.

I didn’t must plan my physique language. It got here robotically after I wore the garments.

Anyways, I get very affected by girls’s scenario throughout the world, whether or not it’s about widows or anything. In my thoughts, I’ve made a number of documentaries on them. I really feel very dangerous about it. So, it was not one thing completely new that ladies’s situation was dangerous, however there have been (nonetheless) a lot of issues that I learnt from there.

Did you select The Last Colour as a directorial debut for a explicit cause or did you grow to be a director to particularly inform this story?

Vikas: Like Neena ji, have I ever adopted anybody’s path? (Laughs) Everybody anticipated it to be a meals film and that Neena ji would play a chef. But the shock ingredient in the film was so sturdy. We had been touching a delicate topic, and we needed to do full justice to it.

As a first time director, had been there apprehensions or a concern as to how would the story be acquired by folks?

Vikas: Neena ji, please reply this as a result of I’m completely new on this enterprise. It is impressed by a true occasion.

Neena: Vikas, even when it’s true, drawback arises. Vikas has effectively dealt with a lot of delicate particulars in the film. He has been refined about it. He has stated a lot with out actually displaying something. So, Vikas took many precautions as a result of he is a delicate individual. We have handled it very properly, and we’re trustworthy about it. Everybody is entitled to their standpoint.

What went by way of your thoughts while you took the script to Neena Gupta? Did you concern not being taken critically as a result of if you are a celebrated chef, this was your first time as a filmmaker.

Vikas: I had taken Neena ji’s quantity from Mr Anupam Kher, and he advised me one factor about her. “Neena is emotions and instincts. She will decide on instinct. She is unlike how it’s typically done where we read a screenplay, and then our managers would give you a call after a month. So go fully prepared. She is too intuitive. She has rebuilt her entire empire so she can catch cracks.”

So, I went with the full screenplay, however after I reached there, it was a evening shift of Badhaai Ho! and he or she was wanting drained. So, I felt that I ought to make the assembly occur quick in order that she doesn’t fall asleep. But she was so affected person. She didn’t blink, and paid full consideration.

She is like a youngster who is being taught one thing. She will take notes. And I didn’t know if she is reacting to my script or not, however then she stated, “This film I will definitely do. Tell me the dates.” That’s the solely factor she requested me.

What was your impression of Vikas? Did his public picture of a chef ever make you doubt his skill to inform a story when he got here to relate The Last Color to you?

Neena: I by no means had any preconceived notion about him. I had heard about him that he was a Michelin chef and that he has written books. In my film profession, I’ve completed a lot of individuals’s first movies. So, to me, first, second or third doesn’t matter. The script issues.

I additionally needed to do some horrible movies that I didn’t wish to do, however I wanted cash. I used to wish that these movies don’t launch. So, I’ve completed these type of movies too. Like he stated, I’ve an emotional instinct.

Recently, any person advised me that there was this very good function and I stated, “No, no. I am not going to play this.” So, my supervisor requested me to at the least hearken to the script and reject it if I nonetheless don’t prefer it. I went into it fairly reluctantly.

The director completed narrating the story and I stated, “When do you want to do it?” The similar occurred with The Last Color. He narrated and I noticed his ardour. You get to know a individual when he is speaking. I knew Vikas knew what he was doing and what he needed from me. And most significantly, I beloved the script and my function.

So, would you say that you’ve come as far as an artiste and a individual primarily based in your emotionally-driven selections?

Neena: No. Because of that, I additionally suffered a lot. I took some improper selections. That was a completely different time after I didn’t know the enterprise. Now, when Vikas opens up a restaurant, he understands how the enterprise works. When I got here, I had no understanding of what sort of function I shouldn’t do.

At that point, the thoughts used to suppose in a different way, that even if you happen to don’t like a character, see how massive the director, the producer and your co-star are. So, you must do it as you’ll profit from it in the future. But nothing like that occurs. There was nobody to information.

So, these emotional and intuitive selections had been truly not emotional and intuitive. They had been circumstantial. I wanted cash. I used to be calculating that if I do that, then that may occur. It wasn’t that if I didn’t like the script, I may say no. I couldn’t! Had I taken emotional or intuitive selections, I might have been effective! (Laughs)

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