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Talent is a strange thing. It often makes the talented do things that the world looks at and says, “Why?” Or “Why now?” Talent often has no answer other than to say, “Well, it just felt right.” And so you see artistes often branching out into fields other than their own, sometimes related to what they acquired fame in, sometimes not really related. So did Tagore take up painting at a late stage in his life leaving an indelible mark on the field. So it is that actors like Aamir Khan or Robert Redford decide to move into directing. And so it is that living legend Asha Bhosle–whose voice has been instrumental in shaping the characters that actresses were trying so hard to portray on screen–has decided to step in front of the camera herself.
Perhaps the signs of her acting ability were already there in her music videos and even her on-camera interviews. No one who has seen Ashaji in her music videos can deny that she has an irresistible magnetism and undeniable charm on camera. It is that magnetism and charm that made producer Nitin Shankar decides on Ashaji as the perfect person to embody the title role in his debut Hindi Feature film MAAEE. The film tells the poignant tale of what happens when a woman is abandoned by her only son and then goes to live with her daughter and son-in-law. It is a complex role, but director Mahesh Kodiyal (who comes to film after a long and illustrious career directing advertising films) has no doubt that Ashaji will be able to do it with flying colors.
When asked what it was that drew her to make her big screen acting debut, Ashaji said in her inimitable style, “Well, to start with, it was something that I hadn’t done so far. My fans know very well that I do whatever my heart says is good to do. And the moment this story was narrated to me I connected so very strongly with it as a mother and a human being even though it was so far removed from my own life and experience. I knew then and there that there was no way I could let the opportunity to essay this character pass me by.” It also added to her comfort that in this touching story of a mother-daughter relationship in the present day, the critical role of her daughter was being played by Padmini Kolhapure, not only another well regarded actress of Indian Cinema, but also someone she has worked with and knows well and last but not the least her son Anand Bhosle who felt that the script was great and whose opinion she trusts immensely.
MAAEE goes on the floor in April this year and will be shot entirely in Mumbai. Ashaji is already bubbling with the creative energy that she brings to everything that she touches.
And the producers Subhash Dawar & Nitin Shankar (Alliance Entertainment & Rhythm D’vine Entertainment Pvt Ltd) and the director, Mahesh Kodiyal are certainly hoping that she will sprinkle this project too with her magic dust. For talent, as we all know, is rare and unpredictable—and everyone connected with the project feels lucky that a talent as rare and mercurial as Ashaji is going to be their MAAEE.