In Disney+ Hotstar’s Gulmohar, Sharmila Tagore returns to acting after 13 years. In the family drama, the veteran actor plays a character who opens up to her granddaughter that like her, she too had fallen in love with a woman when she was younger. Sharmila admitted that she was slightly nervous about playing a gay character in the film and was pleasantly surprised by the audience’s reaction to the big reveal. (Read also: Gulmohar Movie Review: This gripping family saga is compelling and confusing at the same time)
Directed by Rahul V Chittella, Gulmohar also stars Manoj Bajpayee, Simran and Suraj Sharma. Sharmila plays Kusum, the widowed matriarch of the Batra household, who hides more than one secret from her children and grandchildren in the film. The Batras all gather at the old family bungalow for one last Holi before the house is sold. The actor said that Kusum is there for everyone but wants to live for herself as each family member does their own thing. He also talked about the delicate story of Kusum’s relationship with a woman in her youth.
Speaking to Roger Ebert.com about Gulmohar, Sharmila shared, “[I felt] a bit of a concern, but the way they handled it in the script is very subtle, not in your face. And I’m really surprised. The public has really embraced it. He’s okay with that. It’s not understated, or underlined, or an in-your-face kind of statement. It is an inner development of a human being. So it’s at that level.”
He added, “It was her decision all the way through, whatever the need was at that time. And her growth was kind of fueled by that. If you watch the movie, you’ll realize what kind of person she is. She’s connected to everyone and still is.” to put herself first. There’s nothing wrong with that. She’s 76 now, in the movie. So now she wants to be free, basically.”
The veteran actor was last seen in Break Ke Baad as Deepika Padukone’s mother. Imran Khan also starred in the Danish rom-com Aslam. She made her film debut as a 13-year-old in Satyajit Ray’s Bengali film Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) in 1959.
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