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Joined: 23 September 2007
Talking heads with Aroona Irani
|Monday - May 12, 2008|
Sheetal Patel - Televisionpoint.com | Mumbai
She was once a dancing queen on the silver screen. She played a gangster's mom, a vamp and much more. She was also a path-breaker in her time. Good girls did not do that at the time, but Aroona Irani of A. K . Films outshone most heroines. Yet, today, she does what everyone else does. Makes saas-bahu or family sagas.
Why did you decide to quit the big screen and direct serials on TV?
I always wanted to direct. In fact, I wanted to make films but since I had no experience I started with the smaller medium TV. Then, when I did well and wanted to go back to films, the film industry went through its lowest phase. And now, when once again I can go back, the industry has changed so much in terms of scripts and style that I feel I'll be a misfit.
Why? Are films now too fast-paced compared TV serials? Is it better to stay in a time warp?
Absolutely. Films don't seem to have any story nowadays. Serials are better 'Kuch to kahne ko ya sunne ko milta hai'. Who says TV isn't progressive? All kinds of stories happen. And I feel serials are far more realistic than films. At least we show strong relationships.
Why relationships and family soaps at all? Aren't there other things to talk about?
What can be better than human bonds? If you want anything else, watch Discovery, watch History. Why watch Star or Zee and complain that all they show is family dramas? Arre bhai, that's what they are meant for. Moreover, if we talk of soaps we will talk of family dramas. Because that is the one thing in life that is constant. Even the Ramayana and Mahabharat were family dramas. The only difference is that our serials are based in the here and now.
Really? Do women gasp whenever they see their lovers the way your protagonist did in Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand?
Some drama is necessary, isn't it? You have to understand that unlike films, which end in about three hours, TV serials have to run a long way. They have to add more drama, more masala to everything in them. We have to talk of real life and yet be close to a fantasy world.
Aren't we inundated with similar serials? All the stories seem the same.
Yes, but what to do? These are the kind of soaps that people want to watch. It isn't that we have not tried to be different. We made serials like Vaidehi, which was about an impotent man, and Rabba, which was different, but they didn't work. We had to take them off air I don't understand why we keep criticising saas-bahu soaps. The truth is that nobody is here for charity. We do only that business which makes money Isn't that a very clear funda?
So how is A. K. Films different?
I've never claimed to be different. In fact, everyone who claims to be different is lying. It's how you tell it that makes it different.
And what happens when you tell out-dated stories like Naginn?
I know it is outdated. Everybody, from my family to my production people, told me that it wouldn't work. But the response is good and, touch wood, it is working.
I became convinced about it only when I saw a reality programme on a news channel. It was a one-hour special on a nagin whose nag had been killed by a man, and the nagin was sitting on the roof of the man's house to take revenge. Imagine! If I, who am not a typical housewife, could be so fascinated, why won't other people? So Naginn took shape. But again, it has to have the necessary family angles.
But didn't serials like Tara, Banegi Apni Baat, Hasratein which were not over the top and had strong story lines, work well too?
Yes they did. But you also have to consider that they came at a time when satellite TV had just come into being and we didn't have so many channels and serials for choice. After Doordarshan, they were as fresh as you could get. So they worked. Today, with so much choice available, it becomes necessary to catch eyeballs in whatever way possible.
Joined: 30 May 2005
Aroona is unhappy!
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