Good scripts are hard to come by: Kajol on exploring mother-daughter dynamics in 'Tribhanga'

I never plan what my next character or movie would be, she said


As the daughter and granddaughter of two accomplished and famous women, actor Kajol says she could see parallels between her life and her character in Tribhanga, a film that appealed to her for its focus on the relationship between mothers and daughters.

The film, written and directed by actor-director Renuka Shahane, is one of those rare stories to highlight the complexity of the mother-daughter bond in Hindi cinema, which for the longest time has told stories of fathers and sons while putting the mother figure on the pedestal.

One of the most popular stars of Hindi cinema with blockbusters such as Baazigar, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham among others, Kajol said she never plans her career.

It is always about finding a "good script", she added.

"I have always gone with good scripts. If I like something I will do, if I don't like something, I won't. I never plan what my next character or movie would be. Good scripts are hard to come by.

"I can say that I want to play this character or this type of film but at the end of it, you have to be sensible enough to go with a good script and it can be anything. It's a fluke, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't," the 46-year-old actor told PTI in a Zoom interview.

Tribhanga, which will see her in the role of a famous Bollywood star and Odissi dancer Anu who shares a bitter relationship with her mother Nayan, an eminent writer, instantly spoke to the actor.

The movie, also starring Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar and Kunal Roy Kapoor, premieres on Netflix Friday.

Though Kajol's relationship with her grandmother, actor Shobhna Samarth, and actor-mother Tanuja is not similar to the one shared between the characters in the film, the star said she understands how communication can make or break a relationship between two strong personalities.

"I do see parallels in the kind of people that Nayan and Anu are because they both are very creative, opinionated and individualistic characters. I see the parallel where my mother is concerned as Nayan is a lot like her.

"I definitely see parallels in Anu and me. She is outspoken and a no-filter (personality), that is a lot like me. But, again, when you think about everything else, you understand when such strong personalities don't get along, or when there is a communication issue between them, things can go very wrong."

Asked about the influences her mother and grandmother have had on her as creative people, the actor said they inspired her to give her all to everything that she chooses to do.

"They both made me realise that creativity cannot be all that you are about. Even if you are creative, it is just a part of your life, not your entire life.

"It has to be a good balance between your home and your professional life. The most important thing is that you have to give your 300 per cent to whatever you do."

Describing her presence in the film "as an angry cloud", Kajol said she loved playing a "passionate" character like Anu.

"She is so passionate about everything. I like her opinions, she's smart and the things she says make complete sense from her point-of-view. I agree with her for a lot of the part."

The actor, who shares two children—Nyasa and Yug—with actor husband Ajay Devgn, said mothers have often been depicted as these "superhuman women" in Bollywood.

"This film is saying that we are all human beings. This idea of being this perfect mom is an ideal, it is only in your head.

"There is no perfect mother in this world. That can break you down inside because you somewhere feel that you don't live up to that perfection. It's everybody else's idea of what a perfect mother should be that you're living up to," she said.

The actor liked the thought behind the story which portrays motherhood as just an extension of one's personality and not one's entire being.

"We all have personalities, dreams, thoughts, wants and desires beyond being mothers. That's what the film is about. You are much more than just a mom."

The film's OTT debut was accidental but Kajol said the release comes at a perfect time.

"The pandemic was not my idea or plan. I don't think so far ahead," she quipped.

As far as the future is concerned, she has nothing planned in terms of movies, Kajol said.

"If you look at my career, I am doing too much work. I had a release last year and I have a release this year. I'm working too hard now!" she quipped.

"But 2020 has been a year where we are confused about whether we should count it in our life or not. We have done nothing in 2020. Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for us. We get back to work and life comes to normal. I hope people return to theatres without any fear," she said.