‘Playing Capt. Lakshmi enriched me as an actor’
Mrudula Murali talks about her Bollywood experience in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Raag Desh, which hits the screens this week.
It took quite a lot of explaining for eight-film old Mrudula Murali to believe that the casting team of director Tigmanshu Dhulia wanted her to audition for Raag Desh. But, her amazement and apprehensions soon gave way to an enriching experience. Mrudula tells CE that she is proud to be a part of the movie that showcases a part of the Indian Independence movement on screen.
“Last year, when I got an audition call, I really thought it was some kind of prank. Only after meeting Tishu sir and signing the contract could I finally convince myself,” says Mrudula, who plays Captain Lakshmi Sahgal in Raag Desh.
The actress plays the brave soldier, who was part of Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) and the subsequent Red Fort trial.
Lots of research
Since the film went beyond the INA life of Dr Lakshmi, Mrudula had to know the personal life of the legendary fighter as well. “Though I shared a physical similarity with her, I needed to get under her skin. So, I read V R Vinu’s work, Lakshmi Samarapadhayil, and spoke to people who were close to her.”
The actress goes on to say, “Beyond her tough attitude, Capt. Lakshmi was a cherubic and jovial person. I needed to do justice to the great woman she was.” She adds the research team of Tigmanshu helped too.
“The director had a clear picture of his characters. He groomed us well. He knew what he wanted,” says Mrudula, a self-confessed fan of Tigmanshu’s body of work.
The shoot was held at Dehra Dun, Delhi and Mumbai, where Mrudula got to know her co-actors well. For Mrudula, who isn’t very well versed in Hindi, actors Mohit Marwah, Amit Sadh and Kenny Basumatary were of immense help.
“The movie focuses on Captain Lakshmi’s relationship with Prem Sehgal, so I had a lot of combination scenes with Mohit who played Sehgal. Since the movie was done on sync sound, my dialogues had to be perfect and Mohit was very supportive. In fact, the whole team was very professional and it's been a great experience as an artist,” says Mrudula.