Acclaimed actress Tannishtha Chatterjee is on to her new vocation. She turns writer with the upcoming film Driving Lessons.
“It’s an idea I had been toying with for some time about a relationship that grows between a driving instructor and the woman whom he teaches to drive over a period of two weeks. The film addresses issues such as class differences and women’s empowerment but in a light, unostentatious way. I didn’t want my first attempt at writing to be top heavy with ideas and messages,” said Chatterjee.
The challenge of playing a woman who is not economically challenged was what attracted Chatterjee to this film.
“I think I’ve done enough of those roles that require me to be impoverished and oppressed. Though the challenge of making every underprivileged character dignified and unvanquished is welcome, at the moment I am done with playing these crushed, oppressed women in crumpled cotton saris.
“The last of these roles for now is in director Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout, where I play Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife once again. I shot for this film seven years ago.”
With Driving Lessons, Chatterjee finally writes the role she’s wanted for herself.
“It feels different to be playing a woman who doesn’t have to constantly worry about how to feed herself and her children,” she said, laughing.
The film, directed by Onir, pairs Chatterjee with Onir’s protege Ashish Bisht. Bisht plays a younger man to Chatterjee’s character of the bored housewife in search of excitement behind the wheels.