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Zeenat Aman Recalls Playing A Sex Worker “With A Sense Of Dignity” In Manoranjan. Priyanka Chopra Reacts

Zeenat Aman shared this image. (courtesy: ZeenatAman)

New Delhi:

New day, new throwback gold from Zeenat Aman’s repertoire of fond memories. On Monday, Zeenat Aman shared about one of the unconventional characters she played in Shammi Kapoor’s directorial debut Manoranjan. Zeenat Aman played a sex worker in the film and she described the character with these words, “This was a character that I could have fun with: sexually liberated, financially independent, and fully capable of locking horns with, and turning down, any man.” Zeenat Aman shared a picture of herself from the film. In the picture shared, she can be seen wearing a red dress. Zeenat Aman also shared a hand-painted poster of the film. Zeenat Aman shared a gray scale picture in which the film veteran and Sanjeev Kumar (who played the male lead in the film) can be seen having a fun time with director Shammi Kapoor.

Zeenat Aman began the note with a reference to “moral policing” which she said “a steady companion” throughout her career. Zeenat Aman wrote, “If I’ve had a steady companion through my career, it’s been the moral police. And, my goodness, did they have a field day with this one! Manoranjan defied existing conventions. It was an adaptation of the fabulous 1963 American comedy ‘Irma Le Douce’, and it featured me in the starring role of Nisha. A sex worker with a sense of dignity, independence and humour.”

Talking about the shooting of the film Manoranjan, the film veteran wrote, “Filming Manoranjan was a ‘haste-haste, khelte-khelte’ affair. It was Shammi Kapoor’s directorial debut, had RD Burman in the role of music director, and Sanjeev Kumar as the leading man. The producer FC Mehra was a family friend. We shot the film entirely in studios in Mumbai, and it released in 1974.”

She added, “Nisha was no damsel in distress! Her outfits were flirtatious and sexy, but more importantly, she was unapologetic about how she earns a living. This was a character that I could have fun with: sexually liberated, financially independent, and fully capable of locking horns with, and turning down, any man.”

Zeenat Aman wrote about how Shammi Kapoor “coaxed out one of her better performances with this film”. She wrote, “I’ve always maintained that I am a ‘director’s actor’, and I do believe Shammi ji coaxed out one of my better performances with this film. The music and costumes were also a hoot. In ‘aaya hoon main tujh ko le jaoonga’ we dance upon gigantic musical instruments, ‘chori chori solah singar’ (sung by Asha ji) has a titillating shower sequence, and ‘dulhan maike chali’ is pictured entirely in a police van full of sex workers being taken to the police station and was sung by all three Mangeshkar sisters! If you’re interested, you can watch these on YouTube. The 70s were a wonderful time to be alive! Despite the moral police (they’re always around) the atmosphere of experimentation, freedom and fashion was unmatchable!”

Zeenat Aman signed off the note with these words, “I wonder if some of my older followers remember this film? I’d love to hear your memories of watching it or any discussion it may have provoked. Enjoy your Monday and have a lovely week, everybody.The three images here include a movie still, a hand painted film poster, and another still that I have borrowed from nfai.”

Zeenat Aman’s post drew reactions from Priyanka Chopra and Archana Puran Singh. Priyanka Chopra wrote, “Moral police is still around and wil continue to be around it seems! But you are beyond.” Archana Puran Singh wrote a long note. It read, “Of course I remember watching this absolutely amazing film in the small town theatres of Dehradun ! And big what an experience it was. Even though I was very young I was enthralled by the world that was created and my parents thought nothing of sending a young girl to watch a film on this subject (I wonder if it had an A certificate and that somehow I was still allowed! Those times were different and parents were not very well informed I guess. But I’m happy I got to watch a film that has endured in my memory till date!).”

Archana added, “This is one of your films Z which has had a lasting impression on me (the other being Hare Rama Hare Krishna) and I became your hugest fan… the costumes, your styling and your entire presence was such an inspiration for me at the time and when my brother came yo know that over the years you and I became friends he was like “wow, you got to make your dream of meeting your icon come true”. So yes, Manoranjan and you played a big part in my own aspirations and realisation of becoming an actor myself.” Take a look at the post here:

Ever since Zeenat Aman made her debut on Instagram, her posts have become the talk of the town. From on-screen nudity to tips on parenting, from privacy of celebs to sartorial choice, Zeenat Aman pours her insights into every post. The actor is known for her performances in movies like, Don, Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

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