Was Jobless After Thugs of Hindostan When Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari Came Along, Says Fatima Sana Shaikh

Fatima Sana Shaikh

Fatima Sana Shaikh

Fatima Sana Shaikh, whose film Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari released today, talks about struggling to find work after Thugs of Hindostan flopped.


Bohni Bandyopadhyay

After the Thugs of Hindostan debacle, Fatima Sana Shaikh had no project in hand until Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari came along. Thugs of Hindostan, despite being a big-budgeted multi-starrer, failed miserably at the box office. It was Fatima's big release two years after Dangal (2016), which was a big break for her career.

But things weren't looking up after Thugs and Fatima says she was literally jobless when Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari happened. “It was almost a month or two after Thugs had released. All the films that I had in hand, some were taking time, I was dropped out of others. I was literally berozgaar, and I wasn’t liking the films I was being offered,” Fatima gets frank.

How did she recover from the epic failure of Thugs of Hindostan? “It is always very disappointing that you put your heart and soul into something which does not do well. So of course, that disappointment did exist. But at the same time, it's taken me a lot of time and struggle to get into the industry. One flop, or even a thousand flops are not going to stop me from acting. So I'm going to keep trying and I'm going to keep my hopes up about my future,” she explains.

Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari is releasing two years after Thugs of Hindostan. Fatima acknowledges the gap is undesirable, but says, “One year of gap will not be counted because that was due to the pandemic.”

The release of Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari got delayed since the theatres were shut for over seven months. It is one of the first films to release theatrically post-Covid.

“Everybody wants to go out and start working, start living their lives. But it's not the same, and will not be the same. But I am excited that at least my film is releasing and people will be finally able to see my work,” Fatima says.

She plays a Maharashtrian girl in this Abhishek Sharma directorial set in the '90s. Manoj Bajpayee plays her brother, a private investigator hired by families to dig out flaws in potential matches. Diljit Dosanjh plays the other male lead and Fatima’s onscreen love interest.

Talking about getting the look and feel right in the film, Fatima says, “I have lived all my life in Maharashtra. So I am familiar with the language and the people and the culture but not as deeply as I should have been. When you play a character you dig deeper and you become much more aware of the culture than you otherwise would. I had a dialect coach to get my dialogues right.”

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