(1999), director Vinay Shukla’s “first popular film”, as he calls it, won numerous awards. Now, breaking the National Award-winning director’s 11-year sabbatical is
, which hit theatres last week. This, too, is a women-centric story and speaks about a woman’s sexuality and urges. A topic that, according to the director and his friend Naseeruddin Shah, didn’t go down well with many in the audience, especially men.
Not surprised by the statement, Shah says, “The men’s reaction is not odd at all; that’s something we expected. Men get up in arms the moment women try to assert themselves. They feel threatened. The greatest compliment that I can give to Vinay is that, if I didn’t know him, I would’ve thought he was a woman. The film looks like it’s been made by one.”
Attempting to explain his artistic self, one comment that Shukla says he got was, in his opinion, farthest from the truth. “Someone said I was judging women as wild creatures. I am being absolutely non-judgemental. Assertion of their identity is important if you can talk about your needs and urges without any moral sanction. I think that is the best compliment that an artist can pay to women,” he says.
in comparison to the rest of the industry’s ‘adulterous’ content, Shah says, “Unfortunately, hypocrisy still rules.
Look at the kind of stuff in mainstream cinema which passes off without raising any eyebrows.
is neither the first film to tackle this subject nor lascivious. It is an appreciation of the woman,” he adds.
Even though the film has been relatively slow in picking up at the box office, Shah believes it will take its time. “Unless a controversy helps us hit headlines.” He adds, “This film will be misinterpreted if a political party decides to make hay out of it while the sun is shining. And that’s not likely to happen. Men who see it with their wives may be outraged if they have skeletons in their cupboards. But I have a feeling this film is going to garner a large female audience who go see it when their husbands are at work.”