Brilliant performance by Shabana Azmi as Maharani Jindan in ”˜The Black Prince’

By Manju Mittal

Actress Shabana Azmi was at IIFA in New York when I got the opportunity to talk to her after the press conference of ”˜The Black Prince’. Amongst all the films made last year, which were honoured at the IIFA, the one film which grabbed the attention of the audience there was ”˜The Black Prince’.

From ”˜Arth’ to ”˜Neerja’ and now in ”˜The Black Prince’, Shabana has captured the hearts of so many and attempted some of the quite challenging roles and has handled them brilliantly. Veteran actress Shabana Azmi of Indian films, television and theatre, she is also known for her social activism, defending women’s right and the disadvantaged. During her 40 years in cinema, Shabana has also portrayed women fighting for a place in Indian society.

Shabana is the daughter of acclaimed Indian poet Kaifi Azmi, an active member of India’s Communist Party and was raised in a secular Muslim family. She has acted in more than one hundred Hindi and Bengali films both in mainstream and independent cinema. She has appeared in a number of foreign films, most of which have won international acclaim.

The actress gave an interview regarding the film after the press conference where she talked about her character and more.

How do you feel being part of IIFA?

I feel truly honoured to be a part of this amazing IIFA festival and it’s a blessing and great pride for all of us to bring ”˜The Black Prince’ film to the IIFA.

Can you tell us about your film ”˜The Black Prince’?

Honestly speaking I wasn’t aware of this story before signing the film. The film is a tragic, yet fascinating true story and legacy of Maharaja Duleep Singh, providing a visual narrative of one of India’s most noble kings, and his fragile relationship with Queen Victoria, who was Godmother to his children.

What made you say yes to the film?

I thought this film was a unique subject and a movie based on a real story. Well the fact that I knew very little of my character when I was given the script, I was amazed by it and I found the character very compelling, she comes from a place where she wants to undo the injustice that has been done to her family. She has scant respect for the British. The producer of the film Jasjeet Singh is also a historian and felt so strongly about the subject and I always judge by that. I did feel it was a story that needed to be told. I would say more than just a film it was a passage in history that hasn’t been remembered.

As you played the female lead role Maharani Jindan mother of Duleep Singh, how did you prepare for the role?

To prepare for the role I read the story and did lot of research on the character. Maharani Jindan is feisty despite the fact that she has been reduced to penury, and her kingdom has been taken away, her son has been taken away from her and she is in dire straits.

Wishing you all the best for ”˜The Black Prince’ and what message would you like to put across through your films to Australians and Indians?

Keep watching all our films and my new film ”˜The Black Prince’ I would request everyone to go watch it.

Shabana Azmi’s role in ”˜The Black Prince’ is quite intense with her portraying a silently suffering mother of Duleep Singh, who supports her son all the way right up to her last breath. ”˜The Black Prince’ is the incredible true story and touches on the sad history of Punjab; the richest kingdom  of India that was deceitfully taken by the British. The film is an eye-opener that everyone must watch playing currently in the cinemas in Australia.








Short URL: