Sarika on Playing Older Woman Attracted to Younger Man in Modern Love Mumbai: It’s More Than Just an Affair’

Actress Sarika makes a comeback into the spotlight after five years with Modern Love Mumbai. In the anthology, inspired by the hit US series Modern Love, Sarika leads Alankrita Shrivastava’s My Beautiful Wrinkles. Although only a small glimpse of the story was shown in the trailer, it was enough to learn that the story put the spotlight on 60-year-old Dilbar’s (Sarika) relationship with a 20-something Kunal (Danesh Razvi).

The subject of an older woman and a younger man’s romantic relationship is not new on the screen. A few of the best examples are Dil Chahta Hai and Alankrita’s very own Lipstick Under My Burkha. However, the director says that My Beautiful Wrinkles is unlike the said examples.

“I think this is a very different story because it’s a story about the coming-of-age of a woman who is in her middle age. At the start of the film, everything is fine in her life but she begins to feel that life is not very exciting. She’s carrying some sort of weight and baggage in her life. However, turn of events led to her encountering Danish (Kunal) and it makes her reflect on her own life,” Alankrita explains.

Speaking of the script, Alankrita shares that the essential concept of this is from a New York Times article. The reason she chose this particular story, Alankrita reveals, is that she could connect with this particular story. “I felt connected to Dilbar’s journey because I do feel that every relationship in our lives doesn’t always lead to a conventional, happily ever after kind of an ending but people change us, our encounters change us, they make us grow and think.”

My Beautiful Wrinkle pushes Sarika out of her comfort zone. Ask her if she faced any challenges, especially while dealing with a subject that is still considered a taboo in parts of the country and Sarika says, “To be honest, challenges, taboo, these words, I don’t recognise these words. Not only because maybe I’ve not experienced in this particular context but otherwise also, yes, I think things are still the same in some spaces in society but otherwise it’s not taboo, it’s not a challenge in that sense. It’s a challenge if you look at it in your mind that ‘oh my god, this story is like that’. Then it becomes a challenge. But that’s not how it is. And it’s a part of something beautiful.”

Addressing Dilbar’s relationship with Kunal in the movie, Sarika adds, “You can’t just label their relationship as an affair, you can’t describe it as her falling for him or him falling for her. The story is beyond that. When you see the film, you’ll realise it.”

Sarika is paired opposite Danesh, who is best known for his role in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy. The actor says that when he came across the script, he felt that he could fit into the character of Kunal with ease. “Firstly when I found out it was Modern Love itself, I was hugely excited about it. When I read the script, I liked it, I thought I would fit into the character really well and I thought it will be something interesting to play. It’s not something I’ve done before and the whole age thing, it’s an interesting way that it has been put in this script as to how it plays out which is what drew me to it,” he teases.

Although not seen in the trailer, My Beautiful Wrinkles also stars Ahsaas Channa in a pivotal role. While she refrained from sharing spoilers about the story, she did reveal, “I play Sarika’s granddaughter Siya in the movie, they share a beautiful bond, you get to see that really nice relationship on the side. It’s a really sweet track.” Expressing her excitement about sharing the sets with Sarika and starring in an Alankrita Shrivastava directorial, Ahsaas confesses, “Every time I was on sets, I was counting my blessings that this is so cool. I had a blast shooting this one.”

Modern Love Mumbai premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, May 13.

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