Last Updated: January 13, 2023, 21:40 IST
Actor Shweta Tripathi Sharma might have marked her Bollywood with the critically acclaimed social drama Masaan (2015) but it was filmmaker Shlok Sharma’s Haraamkhor (2017) that was the first film she signed. The story revolved around the relationship between a schoolgirl and a schoolmaster and saw her paired opposite actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in it. Interestingly, Shweta began filming for Haraamkhor way before Masaan but the former was released later.
As Haraamkhor completes six years of its release today, she recalls the experience and says, “Firsts are always special, after all. Haraamkhor was the beginning of many wonderful things in my life. With Haraamkhor, I went to my first international film festival which was at IFFLA (International Film Festival of Los Angeles) in LA. And I also won The Best Actor – Female award for it at IFFLA. It was while I was at Santa Barbara, after finishing the film festival, that I got a call from Neeraj (Ghaywan; director) that Masaan had been selected at the Cannes Film Festival.”
Talking about her experience of collaborating with Nawazuddin, Shweta says, “Working with Nawaz bhai was one of the best experiences for me. It was like doing an acting workshop, just being with him on-screen and off-screen and understanding what happens in front of the camera as well as what you do between takes, scenes, or when you are waiting for your shot. I have learned so much from him.”
Speaking about Shlok, she adds, “What I loved about working with Shlok is that he just lets you be. All the homework, all the discussions, all the conversations about how and what the graph will happen before we are on set. Once we were on set, it’s like we let our instinct and motivation for the scenes drive us. It was a great learning experience. We shot the entire film in 16 days.”
Reminiscing the time when Haraamkhor had hit the screens, Shlok remarks, “I remember entering one of the cinema halls in Andheri with a bunch of my friends on 13th Jan 2017. It was my first film and I was prepared for anything that it brought my way from the audience – roses, brickbats, anything. I wasn’t sure what screen it was playing on. When one of my friends opened the door and a blast of laughter came out at us, we realised it was Haraamkhor playing inside. I will never forget the feeling of seeing a screen full of people laughing together at something that took the sweat and blood of the entire team of the most terrifically talented humans.”
Thanking his team, he says, “Filmmaking is nothing but a collaborative process. To shoot a film in 16 days, you of course need to have adrenaline. But more importantly, you need to have the most incredible team that follows your every instinct as a filmmaker. That too, a debutante. I would especially like to thank my actors Shweta Tripathi, and Nawazzuddin Siddiqui and producers Anurag (Kashyap; filmmaker) sir, and Guneet Monga Kapoor. Nothing can take place of an incredible team who’s got your back.”
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