December 14, 2019
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Amol Palekar

The actor-filmmaker returns with a new Marathi film, Big Pictures’ Samaantar

Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar

What is Samaantar all about?

It’s about lost traces of two people’s love for each other. It’s a passage through parallel folds of hope and despair, life and death.

So it’s about love across a span of time....

The protagonist Keshav Vaze has risen to be a big industrialist. But amid his hectic routine, he’s lonely. Shama Sane is an artiste, a recluse. They meet accidentally after a long time and discover what was lost in all these years.

They seem to represent two lifestyles...

Two parallel lives. There is the din and fast pace of Keshav’s life in the city and the quiet and stillness of Shama’s by the riverside.

Did you move from Bombay to Pune in search of the same quiet?

The energy one spends in commuting in Bombay is incredible. In Pune I preserve that.

You seem to be interested in exploring human relationships on screen...

I find human relationships fascinating. The theme is endless in its potential.

You’ve returned to acting after years. What about the character fascinated you?

I was excited about playing Keshav—his way of life, his thoughts. There were apprehensions that I’ve been out of practice for a while but once a performer always a performer!

How is it directing yourself?

Last I acted in my own film, I realised I was paying little attention to the actor in me. So I let the director take over and stopped acting.

Was Sharmila Tagore the first choice?

We did a Bengali film in the ’70s, Mother. I had no one else in mind for Shama.

Was it easy to persuade her considering it’s her first shot at Marathi?

She said years ago I had done a film in her language and now it was her turn to step into my territory. She worked on her accent.

How crucial has music been for the film?

Anand Modak’s melody-oriented music lingers. Reminds you of Rahul Dev Burman.

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