When I Was Almost Giving Up, ‘Rani’ Happened: Malina Joshi

Malina Joshi was crowned Miss Nepal in 2011. Later that year, she represented Nepal at Miss World pageant in London. She made her silver screen debut with ‘Ritu’ in 2014. Since then, three of her other films — The Winner, Jhumkee, Sanrakhshan — have been released as well.

A couple of her new films are scheduled to release this year, ‘Rani’ being one of them. The film directed by Dayaram Dahal also stars Anoop Bikram Shahi, Saruk Tamrakar and Manish Sundar Shrestha.

We talked to Malina Joshi about ‘Rani’ and her journey so far. Excerpts.

Tell us about ‘Rani’. What kind of film is it?

Rani is a love story that involves friendship, brotherhood, betrayal, love, rage, devotion, agony and sacrifices. The title of the film was decided by our director putting the main theme of the the game ‘carrom’ where the players play it hard to achieve the Queen – ‘Rani’.

What’s your role like?

This is my favorite character till date. Saanjh, a sad soul seeking for happiness and reason to live her life. And that’s when Arush (Saruk) and Aarav (Manish) come into her life.

How was it working with the newcomers Saruk and Manish? Who did you enjoy working with more?

Rani is a very special film to me. Rani happened when I was thinking of starting up my career with something else. Saruk and Manish, I must say, are amazing co-actors. They have always been very supportive and encouraging to me, be it life or be it career. They have always given me genuine suggestions and helped me to take smallest decisions of life and of course our film ‘Rani’. Both are equally special to me. It’s because of them, this project is close to my heart. Can’t pick one

While you have done some music videos and commercials together, this is your first time working with Anoop in a film. How was the experience?

When it comes to work, it’s work that is in my priority. Ever since I have known him, I always wanted to do a film with him. We have always received very positive comments about us as a couple.

It’s been over three years since your silver screen debut — how has been your journey like so far?

It was hard, pretty hard for me because we, Miss Nepals, belong to a different fraternity. The amount of hard work, the effort that you have to put into is massive. To be honest, I was not very happy about the remunerations as well. There is a huge gap between the expectations and reality. Sometimes you work with professionals, sometimes it’s different. I would love to see more respect and more professionalism not just amongst the artists but also the technicians. When I was almost giving up, Rani happened.

Are you satisfied with your works so far?

There are always rooms for improvement. That’s why I guess I’m still in this industry. The best is yet to come.

Which one of your films is your personal favorite?

Rani, for sure.

Who is your favorite co-actor so far? Who do you find most comfortable working with?

Favorite, it’s Saruk Tamrakar. Comfortable, it’s Manish without a doubt. I have already worked with him in two different projects. I feel safe with him. I can be myself in front of him and not worry about being judged. It’s the respect that matters in the end. And we three are very respectful to each other.

How was it working with director Dayaram Dahal?

When it comes to Dayaram dai, he is one strict director. To be very precise, he is very particular about what he wants and he can be very rude at times. But my experience was something else than what I heard about him. He is one flexible director who gave us enough space to work. The feeling of inclusiveness made us feel that Rani is our own project. There was always room for group discussions. The best part about him was he included all of us in the decision making for the film.

Do you think being a Miss Nepal has helped you in any way in the film industry? How?

Indeed. The ‘Miss Nepal’ title gave me an identity because of which it was easier for me to get into movies. Although it was not in the plan to get into the movie industry, I was offered couple of scripts. Amongst which, I loved the script of Ritu. And then, the journey began.

We don’t have any examples of a beauty queen making it big in Nepali film industry yet. Do you think you can change that status?

After being 3 movies old, people still recognize me and address me as a Miss Nepal but not as an actress. May be the title itself is very big to be overshadowed by something else. We have so many responsibilities and the work that we do is not just in the movies. Once, we think of devoting our entire time in the movies only, we might excel and do it big as well. Professionalism is a must. If not, compromises are made least. I don’t know if I will be able to change this status but I will be here in this industry until and unless I am happy and enjoying my work.

At last, why do you think people should be excited about Rani, and why should they go to theaters when it releases?

There are quite a lot of reasons, to be honest. First of all because of my co-actors — Manish, Saruk and Anoop. They have done an amazing job in this film. They have worked really hard more than what they are expected to do. They are the actors of full potentials and I can see them doing it big in this industry.

The director, Dayaram Dahal. He is one of the finest directors that our nation has got. He focuses on small details. Although Rani is a result of a fantastic team work but it’s him who was flexible enough and receptive to suggestions.

The excellent cinematography by Putushottam Pradhan and Man Maharjan. They are simply brilliant. And how can I forget The Sisan Baniya. He was there with us to shoot for the love song of the film. He made us as well as Khaptad look even more beautiful. Khaptad was such a challenge. We shot there without electricity, water and proper food with thunderstorms, hailstorms and wetlands. And at last bu not least – the engaging script After Ritu, I’m doing a love story and trust me it’s worth a watch.

Rani is slated for its release on October 19th. Watch the teaser and the first video song from the film here.

The song titled ‘Bhana Bhana’ is written and composed by Vijay Ghimire; and also sung by Vijay himself along with Nikhita Thapa.


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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