Saturday, May 25, 2024

Siddhi Idnani: We cannot underestimate the positive impact inside showbiz anymore

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Actress Siddhi Idnani, who had recently given a remarkable performance in The Kerala Story, speaks to The Pioneer about working in multiple industries, her upcoming Tamil film Basha Endra Muthuramalingam, and more.

SHIKHA DUGGAL
Siddhi Idnani’s character Gitanjali in the recent controversial yet box-office success The Kerala Story, was very integral to the plot of the film, and managed to pull off the character and the different shades with ease. That’s just one of the pre-eminent actresses from Telugu industry, and Siddhi’s upcoming release Kathar Basha Endra Muthuramalingam is on its way — is so ready to deal with the themes of politics and power, once again.
It wasn’t necessary for her to be bold in this industry, instead the actress brought in her own pinch of fearless ideas and moved ahead in this showbiz without crippling on any dogmas.

In an exclusive interview with us, right from the shooting sets of her next Tamil movie, Jamba Lakidi Pamba fame speaks, “We are starting this interview with a bang — so when my last movie was banned in a few states, I was really upset. I was very casual about the reasons behind the ban. Now that the courts have given the permission for screening everywhere, wanted a few people from a section of society want to understand the real inception of this movie and that we are not coming with any political agenda. It did create an uproar! But, it was upsetting. I was helpless.”

As we further speak to the actress, we get to understand that she is also one of those who is more interested in the longevity of her films than the grosses. She describes, “My mother is a very popular television actor, predominantly in Gujarati serials. So the set life was always very parallel to mine! From there, my fascination began to grow. Now I wanted to see what a movie set looks like. Now when I look back, because my parents had a love marriage and my mother is a proper Gujarati while my father is a proper Sindhi: I never had cultural issues. So for me to work in multiple industries in multiple regional languages was a swift ride. I think this was destined to be, I am inherited. Now, when we look at cinema, the shares of women protagonists are also fluctuating. So these were never my concerns at least from the time I debuted in the industry because I already started to see the changes inside. I know it for a fact that somebody sitting in South Korea also will be wanting to see our Indian movie. As we do with the k-pop dramas! We cannot underestimate the positive impact inside the entertainment fraternity anymore. It’s happening.”

She is a person who never believes in planning life ever—neither her act of becoming an actress was pre decided! She clarifies that if she had to preplan anything in this industry, while making a Hindi debut, she would have chosen a romantic film over a controversial one. But she decided to go for The Kerala Story first! Over and above that, “I had never noticed before and how the review headlines are being published. But now that I am being made to learn about it, I probably could have given the other three actresses equal space in the headlines. Having said that, Adah Sharma has been around in the industry for the longest time. Her filmography is much more than what the other three actresses have done, that of course includes me. And technically speaking, the longevity of her character is from beginning to the end. So maybe she deserve that space in the headlines! Could be a creative call also, right? My name not being there in the review headings doesn’t bother me so much.”

So she wants originality, she wants creativity, and she wants a pacing plot for her to lead the film. As soon as the film was released, the immediate near and dear ones approached her, bothered about whether she was affected by what she did on-screen or not because she was able to convince them so very well. Into the bargain, “I was only receiving hateful comments online. A very harsh comment was posted online by one of the users saying that I did this movie just for the sake of money! I was laughing at his/her mindset. What was even more upsetting as I mentioned before was my film getting banned in those states where I had actually done movies for them. I was receiving phone calls and text messages from the people who I know from those states asking me why have I done this without even watching the film. They just got affected by the word ban! On the contrary, I had those kinds of people too who actually travelled to another state just to watch my film. And to tell you the truth, my Muslim friends were thankful that we were able to pull a movie like this that was showcasing how their community was being used for misdeeds. They understood the context very well! Jihadists are turning islamists into terrorists and no muslim wants that. Who told their religion allows terrorism? No, they don’t.”

She deserves to be at the heart of storytelling! “I can proudly say that I am a Gautam Vasudev Menon heroine too. Because when you look at the history of heroines he has worked with, be it Trisha Krishnan or Sameera Reddy — I wanted to be a part of this gang. So in my career I have done both kinds of films, one where I am the leading lady and two of them with an ensemble cast. But when you are doing a leading role, your character becomes even more meatier! That will make a lot of difference in my career. No matter how many actors I am working with, I’m still very secure in my place. There will be no cat-fights on the sets you’ll see me working on! And frankly speaking, whenever I am doing a single heroine film my pressure doubles because of the male actors that I am working with because most of them are my seniors. For me, even the background artists also matter!”

Commenting on the sudden global recognition of southern films, she speaks heartily, “If I specifically speak of Tamil films, while shooting I have been to most of the interior areas of Tamil Nadu, and it’s a fact that they are very culturally rooted and that is visible in their films. My generation wouldn’t know their traditions at all, so films like these help! And stressing about the fact that culture is extremely different from religion!Our main upcoming film with Aarya is a pakka village film. We were shooting in a village only. No matter how modernise we become, we are traditionally rooted in our subconscious, and that’s why films like Baahubali, RRR or Kantara do maximum business!”

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