FILM-ONLY FEUD

India Today - - LEISURE - —Suhani Singh

Ac­tresses Rad­hika Madan and Sanya Mal­ho­tra, who play feud­ing sis­ters in Vishal Bhard­waj’s lat­est film, Pataakha, don’t have a lot in com­mon ex­cept that they are from Delhi and have terp­si­chorean tal­ent.

Madan, 23, a mo­tor­mouth, is an erst­while stu­dent of chore­og­ra­pher Ash­ley Lobo’s DanceWorx. Mal­ho­tra, 26, is a freestyle dancer who is soft-spo­ken and takes time to open up.

Madan’s first act­ing gig came at the age of 19 as the hero­ine of a Balaji TV show, Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi. “I was paid to learn act­ing,” she says, in­sist­ing she was “re­ally bad” in the first three months of the show. Mal­ho­tra, after re­jec­tion in a dance re­al­ity show, got her big break at 24 as wrestler Babita Phogat in Dan­gal.

“I didn’t have to stand in queues for au­di­tions after that,” she says.

Rad­hika Madan

“Peo­ple would tell me once you are a TV actress, you can­not do movies,” said Madan. “But I used to dis­agree.” After the TV show wrapped up, Madan took a break “to un­learn”. She was cho­sen to play a mar­tial artist in film­maker Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, which won an au­di­ence award at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val re­cently. “Badki is bossy and thinks she is the ‘it thing’,” she says of her char­ac­ter in Pataakha. “She feels Chutki [younger sis­ter] is stupid and im­ma­ture.”

Sanya Mal­ho­tra

A few days after Dan­gal’s re­lease, Mal­ho­tra re­ceived a script from The Lunch­box di­rec­tor Ritesh Ba­tra, ti­tled Pho­to­graph. “I didn’t know life would get so easy and so good,” she says. Mal­ho­tra had just fin­ished shoot­ing Bad­hai Ho (re­leases on Oc­to­ber 19) when she was called to test for Pataakha. “Dur­ing the first read­ing, I zoned out be­cause I re­mem­bered these beau­ti­ful black-and-white pho­tos of the Maq­bool cast read­ing.”

Mal­ho­tra is noth­ing like the char­ac­ter she plays. “She [Chutki] is spite­ful, ag­gres­sive, loud and speaks her mind,” she said. Maybe that’s why all the fic­tional fight­ing seems to have dis­ap­peared when the two left the set, based on their bon­homie in in­ter­views and their lip-sync­ing videos, boomerang posts and self­ies on so­cial me­dia.

Rad­hika Madan and Sanya Mal­ho­tra por­tray feud­ing sis­ters in Vishal Bhard­waj’s new film, Pataakha

Rad­hika Madan

Sanya Mal­ho­tra

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