Amruta Khanvilkar, who has been dabbling in Marathi and Hindi films for more than 15 years now, has expressed her desire to work in movies like Pagglait and Geeli Pucchi. Amruta is in awe of Konkona Sensharma and Sanya Malhotra whom she calls her “favourite actresses”.
“I would love to do what Konkona Sensharma or Shefali Shah or Sanya Malhotra does. These are my absolute favourite actresses and it would be amazing to do something like they do. I loved Paglait. It was amazing. I can’t express what a great idea that was,” says Amruta, who has hit films like Raazi, Satyameva Jayate, and Malang to her credit.
Amruta is currently receiving positive response for her recently released Marathi movie Pondicherry, which also stars Sai Tamhankar, Vaibhav Tatwawadi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Neena Kulkarni, Gaurav Ghatnekar and Tanmay Kulkarni. The film is directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Sachin Kundalkar.
Talking about the film, Amruta says, “It is completely shot on a smartphone and it was a cast and crew of 15 people only. We shot this film in about 28 days. Apart from the script, all these things were challenges for the actors because we were not given any kind of assistance, vanities, or anything and we were supposed to do our own hair and makeup. It looks so gusty for Sachin Kundalkar to do something like this and imagine something like this and then as actors like Sai, Vaibhav, Neena, and me become a part of it. So, I had to do this film. And then Pondicherry the place, it is rich in so many cultures. There is South Indian culture, there is French culture and I had never been to that place and that’s how I got on board. Apparently, Sachin had seen ‘Raazi’ and he was like, ‘Amruta, I really want to work with you.'”
Pondicherry, which was released in theatres on February 25, follows Nikita (Sai) and her eight-year-old son, Ishan, who stay in an old family villa in Pondicherry where Nikita runs a home-stay for travelers. A mysterious man with an agenda arrives at Nikita’s home-stay, giving all their lives an unexpected twist.
Amruta plays a photographer in the movie. “Mansi, the character, is very different from who I am. None of her plans kind of take off, so she is in a lot of confusion and she is kind of dealing with her problems and other personal issues on her own,” she says.
Over the years, Marathi cinema has produced several path-breaking films including Sairat, Natsamrat, June, Gulabjaam, and Faster Fene. Amruta feels that the Marathi cinema has a lot of potential but it needs more exposure and budget.
“I think the budget that Marathi filmmakers are given is very less. We need budgets and we need people betting a lot on Marathi films to do justice to the kind of films we want to make. The content was always great in Marathi, actors are always very great in Marathi. It’s just that – budgets and exposure,” Amruta adds.