Chosing to play a mother at the age of just 30 was a decision that she took by herself
Reema Lagoo, one of Bollywood’s favourite on-screen mothers, passed away on Thursday, 17 May following a cardiac arrest. Bollywood has often shown mothers in Hindi films portrayed as white saree clad women who are helpless and emotional fighting with poverty and corruption with tears. Nirupa Roy, Sulochana and Rakhee aptly defined such mothers on the silver screen. Actually, these emotions also fit with the word ‘mother’. But in Mahesh Manjrekar’s film, Vaastav, Sanjay Dutt’s mother came and shot her gangster son. This mother was played by Reema Lagoo. She won for Filmfare’s Best Supporting Actress Award. When Reema played Sanjay’s mother role she was only two years older than him.In an interview, Reema had told that she was very nervous in the scene where she had to shoot her son Sanjay Dutt in Vaastav. During the shooting of that scene, when Sanjay gave her a pistol, she was shivering. Although it led to her being typecast as a mother but Lagoo’s subsequent roles marked a distinct departure from the sad mother trope. Actress Reema Lagoo, best known for playing the modern-day Bollywood mother in films represent the antithesis of the mournful white sari-clad mother of Hindi cinema through her roles.
Born in Mumbai on 21 June 1958 as Nayan Bhadbhade, Reema Lagoo’s acting career spanned almost four decades. Her mother was also actress. Mandakini Bhadbhade who was known for the drama Lekure udand Jaahalee on the Marathi stage. Starting her career as a schoolgirl in Pune, Reema soon graduated to larger roles on Marathi stage and films. Later, she became famous for portraying the “middle-aged, modern, but understanding mother” on both, the silver and the small screens, to some of the biggest stars in the industry. She was just 30 when she came to the limelight as Juhi Chawla’s mother in Mansoor Khan’s hit film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Juhi was just 10 years younger than her. The prolific actress soon became synonymous as the affectionate and genial mother, sometimes to actors who were just a few years younger than her. From Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Shah Rukh Khan to Govinda and Madhuri Dixit, Lagoo played mother to all the top actors and actresses of the Hindi film industry. One of her most successful roles was Hum Aapke Hai Koun, where she essayed the role of Anupam Kher’s wife and Renuka Shahane and Madhuri Dixit’s mother.
But in Bollywood, she became famous as an ‘on-screen mother’ of Salman Khan. She played his mother role in more than 11 films. When in 1991 film ‘Saajan’, Reema played the role of the mother of Salman and Sanjay Dutt she was 33 years old, while Sanjay Dutt was 31 and Salman was 26 years old. The beautiful actress was noted for her roles in several blockbusters like “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”, “Aashiqui”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Hum Saath Saath Hain”, “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Kal Ho Na Ho”, “Vastaav”, “Saajan”, “Rangeela” and “Kya Kehna”, etc. In Marathi, she gave notable stage performances in “Ghar Tighanche Have”, “Chal Aatap Lavkar”, “Jhale Mokle Aakash”, “To Ek Kshann”, “Purush Buland” and “Vitho Rakhumai”, etc. On television, after seen in prominent roles in “Khandaan”, “Shrimaan Shrimati”, “Tu Tu, Main Main,” “Do Aur Do Paanch”, Reema started her career again in Mahesh Bhatt’s “Naamkaran” on Star Plus. Reema had got Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role as mother
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