Patralekhaa, Divyendhu come together for Badnaam Gali, a digital film on surrogate mothers
Actors Patralekhaa and Divyendhu Sharma will star in the upcoming film Badnaam Gali for the digital platform.
Divyenndu, has played supporting roles in Pyaar Ka Punchanama, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Batti Gul Meter Chalu. Patralekhaa, on the other hand, has worked with boyfriend Rajkummar Rao in Hansal Mehta’s Citylights and the web series Bose Dead or Alive.
The film was shot in Delhi. “We shot in summer. The temperature was around 42 degrees and I was wearing that prosthetic belly as you know I have played a pregnant girl. It was physically exhausting under that heat. I was sweating all over and I was getting tired, but everything was worth it when we saw the end result,” she said.
Asked about how the story of a surrogate mother has become acceptable for the audience, she said: “The good thing is that time is changing. An unmarried pregnant girl is always a taboo in the society and that is why earlier when actresses like Preity Zinta did that film Kya Kehna, it was an example. Now it is great to see that the audience is receptive towards these kind of stories. That is how actors like us are getting chances to work on good stories. I always choose my films as an audience because I am the first audience of my film. Though it is a story told in a lighter manner, it raises some important questions. She is a surrogate mother, an independent girl with a very unapologetic attitude and how society treats her… Digital platforms really have given us the opportunity to some of these progressive stories.”
The actor says an artiste should never think that he or she is bigger than the art. “I have never thought of myself as a quintessential hero or that I should become very big. I am content as an actor. I feel good that I am getting the opportunity to do different kind of work and people are noticing me. All this is big for me. I feel it is not a good sign for art when you do something to just become famous. You cannot be bigger than your art. Your art comes first, I am doing films because I love acting,” Divyenndu.
In his last two films – Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Batti Gul Meter Chalu Divyenndu featured alongside Akshay Kumar and Shahid Kapoor but the actor says his focus is always on the part he is playing. “I focus on my craft. I do not think who is starring alongside me. I am glad people have noticed me in the films that I did in my six-seven year career. It feels blessed when people take my name with certain dignity and respect. If I feel artistically drawn towards something I will take it up,” he adds.
His next film Badnaam Gali is releasing on the digital platform ZEE5. He was also a part of a crime-thriller web series Mirzapur and will be back in the second season. “With OTT platform, the bar has been raised so high that people are not willing to watch a sub-standard movie. We have to worry about the content that we are giving to our audience rather than the platform where it is releasing or the format.”
Badnaam Gali deals with surrogacy but in a light hearted way and the 35-year-old actor believes it is essential to talk about issues that are considered taboo in society. “Films are a reflection of society and through cinema if we can make people think or touch their hearts and minds then why not show it on the screen?”
Patralekhaa told IANS: “One of the most important lessons that I have learnt from the tough phase of my career is that if I am not convinced, I won’t play the character. I think for a performer, for an actor, conviction is one of the most important elements and if I am not fully convinced, it shows in my performance. So from now on, everything I will do, I will do it with conviction. Also I have stopped taking nonsense from people because we actors are here by choice and we cannot be on anybody’s mercy… No one should make us feel insecure or vulnerable just because an artiste has a sensitive mind.”
After Badnaam Gali, Patralekhaa has another film in her kitty. It is directed by Pradeep Sarkar, and the actress says it is quite dark and different. “We have room for versatility too,” she said. While she has an inclination towards playing a strong woman on-screen, she knows that as an actor, she shouldn’t say that “I only want to play such character.” “Yes, my character should have a strong opinion, but she could be vulnerable too. I think that is the intriguing point for me that I look for in every good script,” added Patralekhaa.