By Durga Chakravarty
New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) On her debut in 2015, Bhumi Pednekar took critics by surprise, and won awards, by playing an overweight bride who speaks up for her rights in the romantic comedy ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’. Since then, Bhumi Pednekar has given a string of hits with meaningful cinema.
She has been seen in ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhaan’, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’, ‘Bala’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ and ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’, and many more such critically acclaimed films.
But is Bhumi comfortable with the ‘star tag? In an interview with IANS, the actress, who started out as an assistant to Shanoo Sharma, the casting director of Yash Raj Films, made the confession: “I am a little shy to call myself a star.”
She insists she is an actor “who has received a lot of love”. Bhumi said: “I think the definition of stardom has changed across different generations. But yes, I am grateful that my films are appreciated and people love me and I am going to continue doing whatever I do on and off screen.”
Hindi cinema is known for its bigger-than-life films, but Bhumi has stood her ground on featuring only in ‘message-driven’ films and calls herself fortunate.
“I have always been keen that my films should have a positive message along with entertainment, as that’s what cinema is primarily meant to do,” Bhumi said.
She added: “I feel that’s how films in the future would also be. If someone is spending two hours watching a film, or my piece of content, it must lead to some kind of a positive change in their mindset.”
As a public figure, Bhumi is doing her bit for the world too. In 2019, she launched the ‘Climate Warrior’ campaignto raise awareness on environmental protection and global warming.
So, is it time for Hindi cinema to raise issues related to climate change and sustainable lifestyles, pat came the reply from Bhumi: “Yes! I feel it’s high time that Hindi cinema starts showing a sustainable way of living in their films.”
She added: “As a fraternity we are woke and I personally would like to believe that we are more conscious than other industries, but I still feel we aren’t doing enough.”
Bhumi, incidentally, has named as India’s first M.A.C global cosmetics brand ambassador because of her efforts towards climate conservation and sustainability and also her body of work.
In fact, she makes sure that the sets she works on do not use plastic bottles and single-use plastics as much as possible.
Bhumi concluded: “I know it’s difficult, but I try to make my ecosystem as sustainable as possible. I do feel that we need narratives in films/movies that send out the message because they are the most powerful medium to get the message across to the masses.”
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at email@example.com)