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A dream it's true, but I'd see it through…

I romance Abhay Deol in the film: Tannishtha


Tannishtha Chatterjee is surely making waves. Having won several hearts at the Toronto Film Festival, she will soon be flying to Tokyo and Berlin with her Road, Movie that is set to hit the screens soon. Closer home, Tannishtha has just completed shooting yet another international project. Shot in four parts, the Indian story will feature her in the lead. And guess what? The film has been directed by Lucy Liu of Kill Bill fame. Tannishta tells all…

What is Road, Movie all about?

As the title suggests, it’s a road film. Vishnu (Abhay Deol) is a simple guy. It is his journey – coming of age, growing up and discovering freedom. Vishnu finds an old truck, which he sees as his ticket to freedom. As he sets off across the harsh desert terrains, he discovers he’s not merely transporting a battered vehicle but an old touring cinema. Along the way, Vishnu picks up a young runaway (Mohammed Faizal Usmani), a wandering old entertainer (Satish Kaushik) and a striking gypsy woman played by me. Then something happens…

What was your initial reaction after hearing the narration the film? Tell us a bit about your character in Road, Movie?

I read the script and immediately fell for it. I play a gypsy woman in the film who appears from nowhere and then again disappears into thin air. I am a wanderer myself having travelled all over the globe. So I could relate to the character. Besides, I knew Dev (Benegal) would put together a good team. Then there was Studio 18 behind it. All I had to do was to sign on the dotted line, which I did.

You have worked with Satish Kaushik in Brick lane… Tell us the experience of working with him again?

Working with Satish ji has always been fun. He is a great actor. We had a great time shooting for the film.

Tell us once special thing about Abhay Deol that you noticed while shooting together?

Okay. Besides acting, he can paint too. You see it was a bunch of creative people coming together. Abhay was perfect for the role of Vishnu. He works a lot. You could see his character come alive in the process.

How has Dev Benegal been as a taskmaster?

Dev is a great director to work with. He’s very clear in his thought process. Frankly speaking, I wanted to work with him ever since I watched English August. He has a quirky sense of humour, which people don’t get at times. When he has something nice to say that means he’s really angry and when he has something nasty to tell, he’s really happy. I think it was his humour that kept all of us going when we were shooting in the sweltering heat of Jaisalmer.

The truck plays a significant role in Road, Movie. So, who do you romance with – Abhay or the truck?

LOL. Oh yes, I get to romance Abhay on screen.

What according to you makes Road, Movie special?

So many factors… It’s Dev Benegal’s vision, his direction, his style and his script that render a distinct flavour to the film. The music is amazing. The USP of the film is the film itself and its execution. It’s beautifully shot. It is Indian at heart but international in attitude and personality. It looks as authentic as it could be in terms of the lighting, colour, tone, sound specification, artwork etc. What more can you ask for?

What’s been your biggest take-away from the Road, Movie experience?

It was a great experience overall. I made some great friends. I hope it does well because it’s not a run-of-the-mill Bollywood film. It is a feel-good comedy, poetic and subtle in its humour, beautifully shot and surreal. The film works in different layers and that’s why, it’s not just a Bollywood film but also a kind that everyone will appreciate. We have got rave reviews from whoever watched it at the Toronto Film Fest. We had three screenings there and all were house-fulls. So, now I am confident. We will be promoting the film in Tokyo and Berlin as well.

Would you like to mention about your next project after this?

There is no denying the fact, now that I have already shot the film. It is a Lucy Liu project. The film is in four parts and I’ll be seen in one of these, that tells an Indian story. All these stories are built on true incidents based on a book called Half The Sky. I play the character of a girl called Meena. The story dwells on human trafficking. How Meena fights all odds and comes out victorious is what we get to see in the film. The best part is all the stories revolve around women who strive to bring about a difference in their lives and others around them. All the four parts will be directed by women filmmakers. And in this case I must say, Lucy is a spirited director.

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