Paoli Dam’s on-screen sexuality and explicit dialogue in the uncensored YouTube trailer of Vikram Bhatt’s Hate Story has fired up the viral world. She’s unapologetic: “It’s a bold film, but it’s been aesthetically shot. Nothing is forced. I knew what I had to do and not once did I feel, ‘How can I do this?’”
Pointing out that the trailer tells the story of love and betrayal that puts a girl-next-door journalist on the path of revenge, she says, “I’m choosy about what I do, but once I make a decision, I’ve no inhibitions as an actor. We’re in 2012 and I’m a professional who was lucky to land a female-centric Bollywood debut film with a multi-dimensional character and the scope to perform.”
She has received no obscene calls or threats since the video launched on Youtube. “People today are mature enough to accept something that’s justified in the script,” she reasons. “Hate Story is a film I want every woman to watch. What happens to Kavya (her character) could well happen to you too.”
Meanwhile, the ‘hottest’ newcomer in Bollywood today insists there’s a lot more to come, though she isn’t expecting to be tagged a sex symbol.
“I don’t intend to repeat myself,” she asserts. “Playing Kavya once is okay. Twice? No way! I’ve always been open to experimenting with different roles that have something for me. There are plenty of interesting offers. I’ll decide after Hate Story releases on April 20.”
“The trailer on YouTube has created tremendous buzz. The combo of fiery dialogue and explicit visuals always works,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Distributor Vinay Chowksi of VP Enterprises believes that given the subject and its promotion, the film could be “too bold” for family audiences frequenting multiplexes in the metros.
“But it should find takers at single screens in the B and C centres (smaller towns and interiors). I’m just waiting to see how much the censors will pass.” Director Vivek Agnihotri argues that the intent was not to titillate but celebrate the power of a woman who uses her biggest disadvantage, her body, to her advantage. “It shocks because you’ve never heard something like this before, but in the context of the story and the way it’s shot, it’s an entertaining film for all centres and audiences.”