Tejaswini Kolhapure Gets The Rawest Deal Ever In Raavan

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MUMBAI - If Govinda thinks that he got a raw deal in Mani Ratnam’s “Raavan”, then he can seek solace in the savage butchering that Tejaswini Kolhapure’s role suffered.

Padmini Kolhapure’s pretty baby sister was signed on for a prominent role as Ravi Kissan’s wife in the movie. She spent two-and-half gruelling months away from home and husband (filmmaker-actor Pankaj Saraswat) in the jungles shooting for “Raavan”.

The end-result - one passing shot, lasting no more than five seconds in a wedding song. Surely this must rank as the most abbreviated role in the history of Hindi cinema!

One of Tejaswini’s co-stars in “Raavan” says: “At least Tejaswini is visible in one shot. Poor Sadashiv Amrapurkar, at his age, he was on location in the jungles for 90 days. He doesn’t even have one scene in the film. And what about poor Sachin Khedekar, who is there for just one scene as Abhishek’s father? He also played Aishwarya’s father in Guru and had his role chopped off because Mani wanted to focus on the Abhishek-Aishwarya story.”

Incidentally, Madhavan and Vidya Balan also had their roles severely chopped off in Guru.

Surprisingly, Tejaswini doesn’t try to dodge the savage editing of her part with sugar-coated words.

When asked about her blink-and-miss appearance in the movie, she said: “Mani sir and the entire crew knew what my role was. I shot for a good 75 days. The role in the film is what you saw. Nevertheless, it was a treat working with a director like Mani Ratnam. Anyone would give their right hand to work with him. All I had to suffer were some minor bruises. It’s crazy to say this after what I’ve gone through. But I’d love to work with him again.”

Tejaswini has been unlucky in her career from the very beginning. Her first film, as leading lady in Anurag Kashyap’s “Paanch” was never released.

But she’s hopeful about the future. “I’ve finished Happi with Pankaj Kapoor-ji which is directed by Bhavna Talwar. I’ve also done a short film called “Salt & Pepper” about farmers’ suicides directed by Mohinder Pratap Singh and Shashank Ghosh’s segment in “Mumbai Cutting” (a film with short stories on Mumbai). Ironically in Shashank’s film I play an actress trying to find a foothold in the film industry,” she adds.

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