It was as the betrayed wife Priya on the TV show Saans that Neena Gupta had won her most fans. Now she returns to the big screen with another strong author-backed role — that of a woman exploring life, marriage and a relationship — in debutant director Pushan Kripalani’s The Threshold. In its two-character exposition of domestic dynamics, the film resembles her hugely successful play, Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha, with Anupam Kher.
Neena agrees, “They both explore the man-woman relationship in the post-60 bracket. I am lucky to have got both a play and film where I get to do so much, express so many emotions that women in general empathise with.”
Working on The Threshold was a new experience for Neena. “If you look at my career, there haven’t been too many pivotal roles. (But) here’s a film that has just two main characters — a husband (played by Rajit Kapoor) and a wife (me). Indian cinema hardly has roles of substance to offer to women beyond a certain age. I guess I got lucky.”
On the personal front, Neena’s marriage with Vivek Mehra is rock steady. She’s also been busy prepping for her daughter Masaba’s wedding ceremony in November. “Everything has to be planned and executed perfectly. You see, at the end of the day it’s just me for Masaba. So I can’t afford to slip up,” Neena says, before launching into praise of her son-in-law Madhu Mantena. “Madhu is a good man. He is kind to everyone,” she says.
As she looks to the future, Neena hopes for nothing more than a peaceful and happy life for herself and her loved ones. “My daughter is happily married to a good man. I’m doing good work on stage and in movies. And I am happy in my marriage. What more could I ask for?”...