After seven years, Rani Mukerji made her long-awaited reunion with Aamir Khan in Reema Kagti’s Talaash. She plays housewife to Aamir’s Inspector Shekhawat, in a high-profile thriller that opened to a largely positive response from critics and audiences alike. Talaash is her latest film is a string of ever more selective career decisions. After No One Killed Jessica, Aiyya and now Talaash, Rani seems to be making calculated choices and it appears to be paying off.
The NRI spoke to her about Talaash and where she sees her career heading.
What can you tell us about Talaash and your role in it?
It’s a film that deals with human emotions in a very different way to the norm, a very affecting way I would say. I can’t say much as you know that it’s a thriller, a suspense drama, as for a film like this I think it is only fair for the audience to discover the film and its characters for themselves. It will be a much more interesting experience for them.
Your last film Aiyya had you cast as a very different character to the one that you play in Talaash. Are you open to working in different genres?
For me it’s important that the script should really interest me. It depends on the story and the role for which they have approached me. It was very interesting going from the role I play in Aiyya to the one I play in Talaash, as they’re two completely, diametrically opposite roles and I had a lot of fun playing both of these characters. The variety of roles is what I really enjoy doing as an actor.
Ghulam was made in 1998. Mangal Pandey was made in 2005. You seem to work with Aamir periodically every seven years. Is this planned and have you found the experience any different over the years?
(Laughs) I think that is a very good observation you’ve given me. To go with your observation, I think Ghulam really catapulted me to success as I was a newcomer then. Of course, after Mangal Pandey I did Black, which was also a really changing phase of my career, so I hope Aamir will do the same for me here. I think maybe Aamir has turned out to be my genie (Laughs), a magical person in my life.
With No One Killed Jessica and Aiyya, stronger female roles are now being written for Indian actresses. Would you say this is the turning of the tide in Indian Cinema?
Indian Cinema has always been about strong women. If you look at the films of actresses like Nargis or Nutan, whether it is Sujata or Mother India, we’ve always had examples of really strong women-centric characters. It’s just that the trend has been away for a while, but I would say that its now back and I’m hoping it should stay for a long time.
How was it working with Reema Kagti?
Reema is above and beyond a great director. She was in total control of what she wanted in the film. I think that’s a really special quality in Reema that not many directors in today’s day and age have. She had total command of what she wanted out of each and every actor in the film. And at the end of the day, one of those actors was Aamir Khan, and I think that owes a lot to her talent.
Talaash seems to be quite western in its sensibilities – not your typical masala film. Is Bollywood now looking for a more global audience?
I don’t think Bollywood is intentionally looking for a global audience. I think they just want to make films that travel well both in the country and outside. They just want to make good films that work with an audience. Now, whether it crosses over and does well with the international audiences – that just comes as a bonus.
What is coming up next for you?
I’ve not signed to any other films after Talaash. I’m actually now looking at scripts and once I find another role that totally excites me, I’m totally going to do it.
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