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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Bombay Rose director Gitanjali Rao: Bollywood conveniently separates politics from a person to tell the story

Gitanjali Rao says, ‘I am not talking about issues, my characters come with their issues and I have just made sure not to isolate them from their issues.’

bollywood Updated: Oct 22, 2019 17:22 IST
Sweta Kaushal
Sweta Kaushal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gitanjali Rao’s animation feature, Bombay Rose, is getting rich praise.
Gitanjali Rao’s animation feature, Bombay Rose, is getting rich praise.
         

Filmmaker, actor and writer Gitanjali Rao is getting rave reviews for her latest animation feature, Bombay Rose that premiered at the 21st MAMI over the weekend. Speaking about addressing important issues of our society through films, Gitanjali insisted that characters in a story always have their own politics and Bollywood filmmakers often conveniently separate the two to tell their stories in a seemingly safe manner.

Asked if it is becoming difficult for filmmakers to address social issues, given the increasing frequency of people being offended by films, Gitanjali told Hindustan Times in an interview, “All over the world, films are used to tell the audience what people want to say. No matter how great a country, every government has detractors and will always face criticism. I think it is the responsibility of all artists to speak about issues that are not being talked about. I am not talking about issues, my characters come with their issues and I have just made sure not to isolate them. Bollywood often conveniently takes away the politics of person and tells the story. If I tell the story of a privileged person, his politics will be different from one who is not so privileged.”

Sharing the storyline of her film, Gitanjali said, “Bombay Rose is the story of young people who sell flowers across the street from Juhu beach in Mumbai. The boy is from Kashmir who lost his parents to insurgency and escaped from there. The girl is from Madhya Pradesh, escaping child marriage. It is about migrants in Mumbai who came to just find a living, not for Bollywood, not people who come there to become heroes. But I have used Bollywood ...how it affects the characters.”

 Watch Bombay Rose trailer:

She also elaborated on her passion for cinema and animation: “I loved painting and cinema. After watching animation films at a young age, I realised this was the best way to bring cinema and paintings together. I just found this was the best medium to tell my stories. I use animation to do things that live-action films cannot, for example, creating a fantasy world or going back in time. Animation allows us to do that in limited budget. In my form of storytelling, I go by the traditional style using paintings. I use it in the realm of using graphic arts, the stills. I can take my character back in time or to a fantasy world with animation. I can sit in one place and create many worlds.”

Gitanjali also shared that animated films take a lot of time. It took six years to make Bombay Rose and of those, four were solely for research while the rest two went in finalizing the screenplay and production stuff, she said.

Also read: Pagalpanti trailer: John Abraham film comes with a statutory warning of not using your brains. Watch

Bombay Rose was screened in Mumbai and industry seniors including filmmakers Sriram Raghavan, Vikramaditya Motwane, actors Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah attended the screening during MAMI.

Overwhelmed with the response, Gitanjali said, “Whilst I have been overwhelmed by the international audience’s responses to Bombay Rose, it is nerve-wracking to premiere the film at home to those who live and love in this city. I was extremely nervous so now I can breathe!. The audience response was all I could wish for.”

The film also opened Critics Week at Venice International Film Festival receiving an overwhelming response, as well as in Toronto, London & Busan film festivals. It is the first Indian animation film ever selected to open Venice Critic’s Week.

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