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Cannes calling!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Divya Dutta, who recently made her debut at Cannes, tells Tanmaya Vyas that this is a great time for Hindi cinema

Divya Dutta is one of the few actors in recent times who manages to sparkle in a movie, whether she is in a lead or supporting role. An actress par excellence, who has left audiences in awe, Divya has been accepted by the masses and critics alike. The first half of 2018 has marked two happy firsts for the actress. First, she was was conferred with the prestigious National Award and secondly, she made her debut at the Cannes Film Festival.

“I have been wanting to visit Cannes for a long time as I had heard some amazing stories by my peers and colleagues about their visits,” she says. “However, because of work commitments, I somehow missed attending it.”

She visited the Cannes Film Festival with the team of her film Manto. “It was great to visit it for my own movies. What made it more special is the standing ovation received for the film. It was certainly a great feeling.  Cannes lived up to the hype or maybe more than the expectations.”

Manto, on the maverick writer Saddat Hassan Manto, was in the Un Certain Regard category this year at the celebrated festival. Divya is ecstatic about being a part of this project directed by Nandita Das, which is yet to be officially released in India. “Movies about people like Manto should be made. This should be irrespective of the audience brackets—young or old. He was one of the most revolutionary writers who wrote socially relevant literature,” she says.

Divya also speaks about the near- golden phase that Hindi cinema is going through, “This is a great period as the audience has become so open to new ideas,” she observes. “This encourages film-makers to experiment more.”

Divya also received the National Award for the Best Supporting Actress category at the 65th National Awards, for her role in the movie Irada. Starring Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi, Irada deals with grim problem of ecological imbalance caused by thermal power plants. Despite being topical and featuring some renowned names, Irada did just above average business. When asked if the marketing for the film fell short, Divya says, “We can’t generalise. Many small films have done great marketing and did good business and even Irada was decent. In fact with the national award, people have become more curious to watch the movie.”

Divya who is known for roles in Veer Zara and Bhag Milkha Bhag, has explored many genres of movies. However, when asked about her favourite genre, Divya says, “I have had the good fortune to work and explore most genres. But I enjoy romantic movies the most. Currently, I am doing a movie called Music Teacher, which belongs to this genre. On my wish list I dream about working for Gulzar Saheb, where he directs me in a romantic movie.”

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