Kareena Kareena


Kareena Kareena
Kareena Kareena

kay bolte? vandana gupte (Niluji)

sushma Senior Member

Joined: 19 April 2005
Posts: 674

Posted: 28 April 2005 at 6:27am | IP Logged
Daughter of the erstwhile and renowned classical singer Manik Varma, Vandana Gupte's an acclaimed and award-winning theatre aritste. The Marathi audience has seen and enjoyed her performances for over 30 years. But the Hindi viewers have only recently been exposed to this versatile actress who's holding her own against the chulbuli Kareena in Kareena Kareena...
Agreed that it's Kareena who makes the world go round in Kareena Kareena , but for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction and in this case, it is in the form of the domineering but endearing Neelambari Devi aka Vandana Gupte. Her amazing timing and performance has made Gupte win brownie points amongst the Hindi viewers who, so far, knew her only from the commercials Krack and Eureka Forbes Vacuum Cleaner. On homeground, that is in Marathi, Gupte is playing a negative role with panache in a Marathi daily Hya Gojirwanya Gharat aired on ETV Marathi. Unlike the pshycedellic vamps that rule the serials across channels, Gupte's vamp act is a revelation. She underplays her negativity to such an extent that you can easily mistake her for a loving ma or saas. Her vily intentions are revealed only through her eyes which light up when she schemes against her step-son and his wife. Though she's very cunning, she's also confused and this is what makes the character complex and interesting. This is the first time that the actress is doing a negative role in her career span of over three decades. "The reason I agreed to play Kanchan was she was a strong character, albeit, negative. From the beginning I was clear that I won't be loud either in action or look. I had decided to convey my feelings through eyes, because eyes speak what words cannot," explains the veteran artiste. Needless to say, her strategy's worked and today Gupte's Kanchan has almost become a household name. Gupte herself is surprised that a negative character has become so popular. In fact, her performance fetched her the nomination for the best negative role in a recent awards function and the actress, who's already won many laurels, looked so happy and excited that one would think it was her first. Kay Bolta? You have to meet Gupte to believe it. From eagerly showing off her 24-year-old software engineer son's picture she's saved in her mobile to explaining the various roles she's played on stage so far, Gupte does it so enthusiastically that you can't help but get caught in her lively chatter. You marvel at her zest for life and work which is brimming with positivity. Gupte, who's currently shuttling between shooting for two daily soaps and plays, plans to produce a feature film scripted by her son as soon as he returns from America.

For now, she's happy that her character of Neelamabari Devi dressed in a typical Marathi style with jooda, gajra and jari bordersarees has gone down well with viewers. "Initially I was to play a Bihari but later Mamta Patnaik, the scriptwriter who had approached me thought that a Maharashrian look will give a new flavour," informs Gupte. What really hooked her to the soap was that it was not about a saas and bahu. A situational comedy, it had a refreshing storyline and most importantly was not a farce. Last but not the least, Gupte was playing someone who feels strongly about woman power even if she's steeped in traditional values. She believes that women are best at time management and so most of her staff at Chamatkar Bhavan comprise the fairer sex. A strict disciplinarian, Neelambari or Neelu as she is fondly called, is suspicious about Kareena's marital status but still goes alongwith her pack of lies because somewhere in her heart she has a soft corner for her.

Though she's become popular through Kareena Kareena, it's not Gupte's first Hindi serial. Her earlier outings include Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya aired on Sony a couple of years ago in which she portrayed a Maharashtrian maid-servant dressed in a navvari sari. That was followed by Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja on Zee which had her playing an ambitious mother who wants her daughters to be Miss India. Simultaneously, she was offered to play Urmila Matondkar's mother in Aankh Micholi, a Ram Gopal Varma film which got shelved mid-way. Disappointed with the kind of offers she got from Hindi films, Gupte who didn't get the recognition she deserved decided that the small-screen wasn't her cup of tea either, till Kareena ... came her way.

Despite Kareena ...'s popularity, Gupte is averse to doing any more serials, specially dailies. "It's extremely time-consuming. Also, on television even if there's instant fame and recognition, there's no real work satisfaction. There's no growth in the character-graph," laments the talented actress who thrives on doing intense roles, be it tragic or comic on stage. Her noteworthy stage performances include playing a 70-year-old lady in Celebration, a socially-relevant play reflecting the breaking up of families, Shree Tashi Sau, a comedy which is currently being staged all over Maharashtra, Char Choughi a hard-hitting womencentric play which won her the Sangeet Natak Academy award for her 20-minute monologue. Gupte gets so involved with the characters she portrays, that for the role of a sweeper in the play Zoonj, Gupte actually lived with the slum-dwellers to get a hang of how they cook, talk and chew tobacco. She even cultivated the lehza of their language. Her favourite character, though, is the one she did in Ramle Me, where she's a princess but grows up in the slums. Later she's brought to the kingdom as an imposter but slowly she remembers her past and realises that she's the princess. Another role she talks fondly about is that of a widow whose ten-year-old son is so possessive that he refuses to let her remarry in Rang Umaltya Manache. The sensitive mother-son relationship and the complexities struck a chord with the audience making it a huge hit. Whether it's a impoverished sweeper or a rich socialite, Gupte has always picked on strong characters. In her debut commercial play, the actress essayed a lawyer defending a rape victim. A roaring success, it paved the way for formidable character roles in her forthcoming plays. The small statured Gupte became the representative of women who refused to cow down to injustice. Whether they are ill-treated and exploited for power, lust or simply due to chauvinism, Gupte led the protest through various characters in her plays. It was her commanding voice that did the trick and Gupte used it in good measure to communicate hidden but inherent social messages. The one thing Gupte always desired to do was stage a one-woman show based on her experiences in life. Other women to hold similar shows were Suhas Joshi, a veteran theatre artiste in Smriti Chitre and Lalan Sarang, a noted film and stage actress who touched upon her roles in Me Aani Majhya Bhumika. Gupte has already made a beginning by penning down some of it in her columns Bol Boltana published in Lokprabha, a couple of years ago. The column ended with Madhyantar and maybe sometime in the future, she just might pick up the pen to complete her story...

Marathi Movie - Pachadlela

sumit.savla Goldie

Joined: 12 January 2005
Posts: 1026

Posted: 28 April 2005 at 7:23am | IP Logged
Thnx 4 article

mm21 Senior Member

Joined: 13 January 2005
Posts: 776

Posted: 05 May 2005 at 2:09am | IP Logged
Thanx for sharing the article.. allowed us know something new Smile
iruaG IF-Dazzler

Joined: 02 October 2004
Posts: 2531

Posted: 05 May 2005 at 11:24am | IP Logged
Hey I've read this somewhere. Thanx anyway.
sukh IF-Rockerz

Joined: 19 November 2004
Posts: 5154

Posted: 05 May 2005 at 12:29pm | IP Logged
thax a lot
divyagirl Goldie

Joined: 31 March 2005
Posts: 1328

Posted: 05 May 2005 at 6:05pm | IP Logged

Thanks for the article!!


tinkerbell2090 Goldie

Joined: 07 January 2005
Posts: 1919

Posted: 05 May 2005 at 11:14pm | IP Logged
thanks wow i never knew so much abut her!!

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