‘Salaam Venky’ is a celebration of life: Kajol

Fear should not overpower the spirit of celebrating life, says Kajol about her upcoming feature film ‘Salaam Venky’, a film she was initially unsure of being a part of.

Helmed by actor-director Revathy, the film is inspired by the true story of young chess player Kolavennu Venkatesh, who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). He died in 2004.

Kajol, who is a mother of two, said that working on ‘Salaam Venky’ got so much out of her that she shot most of the scenes without glycerine.

“It’s not the kind of film you can ever make without feeling. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the film because it’s a subject that’s everyone’s nightmare. It was hard for me to say yes.

“The great thing about Revathy is that it made it easy for us as we were in the same situation day in and day out and it takes away that fear, apart from the fact that ‘Salaam Venky’ is so beautifully written. It is a celebration of life and the film teaches you that life should be a celebration,” the 48-year-old actor told PTI in an interview here.

DMD is a genetic condition that causes skeletal and heart muscle weakness that worsens over time. Venkatesh’s death has sparked a debate about euthanasia, commonly known as mercy killing, in India.

Asked about her views on euthanasia, Kajol replied with a dialogue from ‘Salaam Venky’: “Man has the right to live and die with dignity.” but because we know mankind and there are many people who would take advantage of such a law. It’s a questionable thing for sure,” she said.

The actor also said that many people realized the importance of living life to the fullest during the COVID-19 pandemic that hit India in March 2020.

From wearing pajamas to going for a drive around town whenever she went out, she found joy in the simplest things. ”We were all in the same frame of mind even now. We’re in a Venky state of mind: we want to live large in the here and now. We want to enjoy every moment,” she added.

Like her character, Kajol said that she too has fears in real life but believes in overcoming them.

“Your deepest fears usually have nothing to do with anything that will actually happen… I hope and pray that whatever happens, I still love myself at the end of the day. “That my children still respect me, whatever my decisions are. I’m pretty sure about everything else, but I take responsibility for things. Whatever happens will happen and I’ll cross the bridge when I get to it.”To prepare for the role of Venky’s mother Sujata, the actor also met the real K Sujatha, whose simplicity and determination touched deeply. ”The character is not just your interpretation. You are not playing a fictional character, you have to validate that person. Some of the things he did were incredible. ”There is courage in saying that I have seen the odds in front of me and that I will still go forward. The belief that whatever happens, I will make it,” she said.

Calling herself an actor who can switch on and off between emotions, Kajol said it was not difficult to play an intense role like Sujata.

”I act in movies and not in life. I am connected and bound to my own reality. But there were parts of the film that were cathartic, that took everything out of me and cleansed me in a way.””Salaam Venky” is slated for a December 9 theatrical release.

Asked about the box office pressure, Kajol said there is no formula for a successful film.

It is important to bring people to theatres, she said, which is only possible with good content.

“The greatest directors have no idea what the perfect formula is or what the audience will definitely love going to the theaters for. We should raise our level. And in terms of production, we all have to make good films because we have to realize that audiences are watching high-quality stuff from different countries,” she added.

‘Salaam Venky’ is produced by Suuraj Sinngh, Shraddha Agrawal and Varsha Kukreja under the banner of BLIVE Productions and RTAKE Studios.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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