Art & Entertainment

Triptii Dimri On Playing 'Qala' in Anvita Dutt's Netflix Film: Felt Extremely Challenging

'Qals' is the second directorial offering by Anvita Dutt, after 'Bulbbul' that also featured Tripti Dimri in lead role.

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Tripti Dimri in Bullbul
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Actor Triptii Dimri says she had a  challenging role to play as a loveless daughter in filmmaker Anvita Dutt' latest Qala.

Set in the 1940s, the dark and unsettling tale of a complex mother-daughter relationship was released on Netflix last week. It was the second directorial offering by Anvitaa Dutt, after her 'Bulbbul' that also featured Tripti Dimri in lead role.

“I have read all of Anvitaa’s nine stories by now. All of them are brilliant and unique. But Qala was special in its own way,” Dimri tells indianexpress.com. The actor says her part of a girl looking for her mother’s love was stunningly internal. Qala is restless even when she sleeps, for she longs for her mother’s lap.

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“Qala is a girl who is always thinking in her head. She is never quiet. Even if she is sleeping, she is not quiet. Even when she is dreaming, she is dreaming of her mother. To be in that space felt extremely challenging,” the actor tells Indian Express.

Qala is Dimri’s fourth feature film outing–after her 2017 debut Poster Boys and  Laila Majnu. So Dimri relied on Dutt’s method, where they together pieced 'Qala'.

“What we do is–this is something we did in Bulbull and Qala as well–we build the character from a very early age. We started talking of her, her thought person since she was a five-year-old. We then built her experiences, her memories. We talked about what kind of experiences she would have, is she a lonely child, is she someone who has a lot of friends, is she someone who goes to school or studies at home.

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“What is her equation with her mother, does she ever hold her, does she look at her, if not, what does she do about it, how does se process all that information? We kept a lot of things from the workshop in the film.”

In the film, Qala is often shown carefully opening a tile from the floor and putting her toys inside. Dimri says her character believes that’s her imaginary mother.

“Once Anvitaa and I were discussing my character and I told her I see Qala as a very lonely child and she would have an imaginary mother, who lives under the floor. She talks to her, through the floor sometimes and that mother really loves her. That mother listens to her, she is always with her. The other mother. That’s why you see in the film, she opens that box, puts her toys in it. That’s her sharing her love with the other mother.

“We also discussed how she would enter her mother’s room and steal her lipstick, or the perfume, just so she could feel her in those things. I don’t think we ever rehearsed a scene. We talked about these things and when we were on set it just (flowed). After the first reading, our scripts were taken away from us anyway,” she says.

Dimri is ecstatic that she got an opportunity to spearhead a film like Qala at an early stage of her career, especially when even the most experienced female actors are deprived of complex parts. “I feel I am truly blessed that I am getting to play such characters, because there are hardly any films made where you as an actress are asked to do so much. It’s special.

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“I am glad it happened now than later in my life, because this is the time where I will have to learn a lot of things, as an actor and as a human being as well. Better sooner than later,” she concludes.

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