The actress gets candid about the highs, lows, and heartbreaks in her career, coming up with the new film Afwaah
Actress Bhumi Pednekar, who has always been known for making bold and experimental choices in films since the beginning of her career, shared how some of the failures also gave her a great deal of learning.
Though most of the films in her career so far have had good commercial success, in the recent past, a few films also could not impress the audience—at least the box office collection said so. Films like Sonchiriya, Raksha Bandhan, and Bheed are such examples.
During an interactive session at FICCI Frames 2023, she was asked if she tries to look for films that have more accessible content for a larger audience and the potential to travel well to get box office numbers.
Bhumi said, "I think we all have to pick our battles really; there are some films that I do for myself and there are films for the love of the business of cinema. For example, when I did the film Soonchiriya, it was out of cinemas within six days of its release! It was really my first heartbreak because every film of mine until then had been a blockbuster! I had four films back-to-back, and all of them did incredible numbers and received positive responses from critics. I was on an all-time high. Then the film Soonchiriya came to me. I was so emotionally attached to the film. I gave eight months of my life to it. I thought that this was going to be one of those films with great content. All of us were so passionate about the film."
"When the film was released, it was off cinemas within six days, which really broke my heart, but the film still lives on because people who watched it later appreciate it. When people talk about my filmography, they speak of Dum Laga ke Haisha and then Soonchiriya. There are so many filmmakers who gave me work because they loved my work in that film. Yes, it did not find a huge audience like my other films did, but it still found its audience. Of course, it was a big learning (experience) for my career, but when I read a script, I do not know what works and what doesn't at the box office. Though I am aware of the environment we are living in where a few films might not have a lot of takers, as artists, we live in hope," explained the actress.
Citing the example of her debut film, Bhumi pointed out, "On paper, nobody could imagine that a film like Dum Lagaa Ke Haisha could work and get the number it got eventually. On paper, in the film, the hero had no heroic or macho quality; I was not at all playing a conventional heroine, but see, that film broke barriers. So when we start a film, we always hope that it will work. Having said that, I want to leave behind a legacy of good work, films, and characters that can be watched through generations, and I want to live on through my cinema. These are the points I think about when I am choosing a script."
Bhumi, along with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, appears in the Sudhir Mishra-directed Afwaah, which is running in theatres.