By Chaitanya Padukone
Eminent Bollywood film-maker Imtiaz Ali known for his various rom-com movies shot in exotic locations has taken on a different, deviating role this time. That of a presenter-cum-narrator in this latest multi-starrer OTT show ‘Jeena Abhi Baaki Hai’ (JABH) directed by hugely-talented Varun P. Gupta which has now started streaming on Biigg Bang, headed by creative maverick Sudeep Mukherjee.
Dynamic director Varun has dared to cast six glamorous looking actresses-models that too in ‘de-glam’ get-ups in a classic confluence of five female-centric woman-empowerment stories. The ensemble cast includes a ‘casting-coup’ of charismatic TV star Divyanka Tripathi (opposite her actor husband Vivek Dahiya), versatile celeb TV, digital, and movie actresses Madhurima Tuli, Anupriya Goenka, Priya Malik, and two new promising talents Rasha Kirmani and Bhagyashree Chauhan.
Enthuses Madhurima, “Mine is an intense role of a dedicated doctor who has lost her husband (also a doctor) to a severe fatal bout of Covid-19 infection. Since I had witnessed in real-life for the past two years, how people around suffered and faced the trauma and agony of the death of loved ones, depression, and a crisis of what to do next. So, it was a slice-of-real-life and challenging to step out of my glam comfort zone,” shares Tuli who apparently shared a warm camaraderie with her female co-stars.
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Newbie Rasha reveals her realistic scenes of domestic abuse in ‘KABH’ where she was actually slapped several times by director Varun who also injured himself to be provoked. “Yes, I do take the law into my hands and react drastically. But that went with the flow of authentic woman empowerment when you can’t take it anymore,” smiles Rasha.
Multi-faceted exuberant actress Priya Malik known for her chaste Urdu-Hindi fluency-diction is euphoric about her “demanding specially-abled danseuse character” (which does remind one of real-life dancer-icon Sudha Chandran) who overcomes all odds to try and fulfill her dancing-dreams.
For TV star Divyanka, this was a double whammy role because besides her digital debut she was paired opposite her real-life-husband Vivek. Which in turn is supposedly a true test of acting skills.
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Known for her contrasting roles in various movies and OTT shows, feisty Anupriya steps into the ‘akhaada’ of wrestling—and literally ‘grapples’ with muscular-macho pehelwans, who kept taunting-jibing her of belonging to the weaker sex and proves them wrong. Motivating Anupriya not to give up, is a slightly senior female ‘pretty-tough’ wrestler played by model-actress Bhagyashree Chauhan who was appreciated in a trending music video titled ‘Dil Chahe’ with star singer Javed Ali.
Director Varun feels that his engaging stories in ‘Jeena Abhi…’ with vibrant visuals and melodious music (amazing song by Sonu Nigam) will surely have a massy-connect in a content-driven market. On the other hand, ‘Biigg Bang’ top boss Sudeep contends that the resilient power of women characters in ‘JABH’ to overcome the crisis and return with a ‘bang’ is what really impressed him enough, to take on the project.