The actor who plays the lead in Zee Theatre’s ‘Savita Damodar Paranjape’ believes the psychological thriller will transcend linguistic barriers to connect with audiences
A familiar face to audiences since the golden era of Doordarshan with superhit series like ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and ‘Shanti’, Shilpa Tulaskar remains one of the most recognised actors continuing to make a significant impact in the Indian entertainment industry. She has also played diverse roles in films across various languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Malayalam. Her recent Telugu debut ‘Hi Nanna,’ the romantic comedy directed by Shouryuv, featuring Nani and Mrunal Thakur in lead roles, was a stunning box-office success.
Shilpa, a multifaceted artist, has also left her mark in theatre, featuring in various teleplays, including the recent ‘Savita Damodar Paranjape,’ released by Zee Theatre, where her role received praise from both critics and the general audience. Helmed by Swapna Waghmare Joshi and Rajan Tamhane, the teleplay has now been translated into Kannada and Telugu for audiences in Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
‘Savita Damodar Paranjape,’ penned by Marathi playwright Shekhar Tamhane, skilfully intertwines family dynamics, psychological elements, and thrilling suspense to leave a lasting impact on audiences. Originally featuring the late Reema Lagoo as the central character Kusum in 1987, the play has been staged across decades and also adapted into films. Shilpa, who portrays Kusum in the teleplay, believes that ‘Savita Damodar Paranjape’ has been crafted so masterfully by Shekhar Tamhane that it will never become outdated. She believes it will intrigue and thrill South-Indian audiences and immerse them into the mystery surrounding the marital life of Sharad Abhyankar and Kusum.
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“The strength of the theme is a major factor contributing to the inherent excellence of ‘Savita Damodar Paranjape’. Now, as the teleplay is being showcased in major South-Indian languages, I genuinely believe it will connect seamlessly with them too. and this story, with its thrilling elements and suspenseful narrative, will captivate all types of audiences,” she says.
Describing the experience of portraying Kusum as an incredible moment in her career, Shilpa says, “Kusum is a very happily married woman, deeply in love with her husband. She is also a young and naive woman. Simultaneously, she grapples with an undisclosed ailment, and exploring what it is, how it troubles her, and its impact on those around her forms the crux of this tale,” she said.
Portraying a character immortalised by a great actor like Reema Lagoo was indeed a challenge, says the actor. “It was also undeniably one of the most significant moments for me. Reema Ma’am had already left an indelible mark, and being a huge fan of hers, it felt like a daunting challenge. I did feel a bit overwhelmed, but I was determined to give it my best shot. I sincerely hope that I’ve managed to come somewhere close to the essence she brought to the character,” she adds.
Shilpa also believes that teleplays are a good way to introduce theatre to the new generation. “We have a rich legacy of older classics in Indian literature. This includes many literary works by unsung writers. Teleplays offer the chance to beautifully revive those works while also evoking the good old nostalgic values of traditional theatre,” she concludes