Actress Mrunmayee Lagoo (daughter of acclaimed character-actress Reema Lagoo) seemed ecstatic that her maverick Hindi debut movie ‘Hello Zindagi’ directed by Raja Unnithan has finally been released at popular cinema theatres. Besides her showbiz buddies, her otherwise fastidious actress-mother Reema too appreciated her intense performance. According to Unnithan, “Hello Zindagi’ is a topical, woman-centric bohemian movie with a strong social message and we have stalwart actors like Neena Gupta, Kanwaljeet, Kitu Gidwani and Milind Gunaji besides Mrunmayee.”
If her current focus is any indication, ‘Hello Zindagi’ could well be junior Lagoo’s last movie as part of the ‘cast’. Explains Mrunmayee, “Actually, I am an actress by default having acted in a handful of Marathi movies. But my ulterior vision was always on film direction. Of course in ‘Hello..’, the lead role appealed to me because it was a challenge to play the rebel character of a bold, vivacious, fiercely independent girl who is flitting frantically for the right roadmap for this journey called life.
“It also has the intriguing sub-plot of a crusade to protect a rare species of turtle from extinction. As a refreshing change, this Bollywood movie is minus the mandatory mushy ‘naach-gaana’ but has an undercurrent of lilting music,” she smiles.
In pursuit of her ambitious aspiration to get into direction, Mrunmayee got the coveted opportunity to ‘assist’ award-winning director Raju Hirani for the Aamir Khan mega-hit starrer ‘3 Idiots’. She has also been assisting for Karan Johar’s upcoming movie, which is a smartly adapted Indian version of the Hollywood movie ‘Stepmom’.
“Interacting with both perfectionist Aamir Khan and the innovative Raju during the making of ‘3-Idiots’ was a enlightening process for me. So dedicated was Aamir, that he would wake up daily at dawn to play badminton. Which would bring the youthful flush on his face,” she recalls.
Wasn’t it true that the Khan also made everyone play cricket on a ‘maidan’ during the leisure breaks. “Hey, that’s right. We had rival cricket teams with names like Idiots, Dumbos, Morons and Stupids and the best players would win little trophies. As of now, I am totally bitten by the direction bug. Believe me, I have no regrets being confined behind the camera. Maybe after about five years of active assisting, I hope to make my directorial debut,” shrugs Mrunmayee whose long-term agenda includes ‘directing’ her actress-mom.