Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Neena Gupta: The Rediscovered Gem Of Indian Cinema!

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Call her bold, woman of substance, rebel or a queen of controversies, veteran actor and National awardee Neena Gupta has always been ahead of her time, be it at the professional front or personal.

Delhi born actor Neena Ji has received several critical recognition for her fine work in commercial cinemas and television industry. From her appearances in international movies like Gandhi (1982), The Deceivers (1988) to her infamous dance number ‘Choli ke Peechey kya hai’ from the movie Khalnayak starring Madhuri dixit and Sanjay Dutt, she became a star of class by itself.

Her versatility was not just restricted to the silver screen, her phenomenal performance in television dramas like Khandaan, Siski, and Saans made her a very popular household name on television. The actress also directed the popular TV serial ‘Saans’ and won the National Film Award in the category of Best Non-feature Film for her telefilms Lajwanti and Sitaram Bazar.

Neena ji always breathed life in her characters, however she didn’t get the amount of appreciation she deserved and remained underrated for long until 2018’s Badhaai Ho starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Gajraj Rao and Sanya Malhotra happened.  The actress always adds a natural grace to all her characters which are more realistic and has the potential to stir the existing belief.

Here we have put out some finest performances of the actor which one should definitely watch:

Khandaan

Khandan was a hit television drama that came in 1985 featuring Neena Gupta and Mohan Bhandari, centralising the life style of two business class people and their obsession with maintaining their reputation in the society.

The drama made Neena ji a very popular actress on television, where she was seen portraying the character of  Ketki dealing with the issues of adultery, rebellious kids and her image in the society. The concept of the drama was far ahead of its time and Neena ji played the character when most of the actresses refused to take it up.

Wo Chokri

Directed by Subhankar Ghosh, the movie tells the story of a young girl and her broken dreams after being abandoned by her father. The movie had Neena Gupta, Pallavi Joshi, Paresh Rawala and Om Puri in pivotal characters.

Neena ji received the National Award for her performance in this hard hitting tragic movie which spoke about the discrimination and indifferences a woman faces in the society.

Saans

It was the time when the majority of television serials were occupied with the Saas-Bahu drama when ‘Saans’ came as an outbreak which took on adultery, infidelity, basics of relationship and broken marriages.

Written and Directed by Neena Gupta, Saans chronicled around the story of a happily married couple Priya (Neena) and Gautam portrayed by Kanwaljit  Singh with their two kids who are soon found in the midst of rifts in their marital equation when Manisha (Kavita Kapoor) an ambitious woman enters Gautam’s life.

The concept and execution of this show was quite unique and bold keeping in mind the demand and understanding of the time it aired. The character of Priya weaved brilliantly by Neena ji dealt with the issues of lack of passion for love and sex  after a certain age of life and how it affects the nature of a relationships very sensitively.

Siski

After her primary success with ‘Saans’, her directorial venture ‘Siski’ became another milestone for her career and it garnered her a lot of appreciation back then. The weekly show that aired in Star Plus featured Tara Patel, Manohar Singh, Kanwaljit Singh, Sumeet Saigal and Neena Gupta herself.

The theme of the show was constructed on the cliched concept of love and marriage, but what made it unique was the point when it start raising the fact that why marriage shouldn’t be the parameter for success and happiness in one’s life.

Buniyaad

Tv series  Buniyaad directed by Ramesh Sippy and Jyoti created a history in the world of the Indian Television by setting a bench mark that no TV drama could cross back then. Neena who played the character of simple girl Lajo ji won the hearts with her convincing emotions and ultra fine performance.

The hit serial  was weaved around the partition of India and Pakistan and featured some great artists like Kanwaljit Singh, Soni Razdan, Sudhir Pandey etc.

Rihaee

The movie Rihaee  came in the era when women centric movies was not a very entertained concept. It revolved around the deep rooted problems rural women faced and till date do in an Indian patriarchal society.

The movie depicts the sexual frustration and loneliness of village women, while their husbands were far off in the cities to earn a living. The character of Neena ji in the movie talks about the discrimination between men and women in the society and their fight  for equal opportunities.

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