Padmavyuha actor Pooja Batra on her film: ‘You can take any religion and it will fit into the narrative’
Actor Pooja Batra, who has a special appearance in a short film Padmavyuh that explores the various facets of religion, has said that what she liked about it was its non-judgmental approach. Pooja, along with film director Raj Krishna talk about their film in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
Padmavyuha, screened at the International Indian Film Festival Toronto last week, traces a professor of religious studies who receives a mysterious phone call . With time, he traverses the tricky path from a non-believer to one who not just believes in faith and religion but is willing to take extreme steps for its sake, unearthing how many play politics in the name of religion. Pooja essays a character who went missing years before the story begins in the film. American actor Nikhil Prakash essays the main role of the professor in the film.
Given that Padmavyuha is the brain child of a second-generation NRI, is it an outsider’s view of the religion? Pooja said, “I think it was also vaguely ambiguous because if you take any religion, it would all still apply. It is an exploration of morality. The best part about the film is that you can take any religion - Hinduism, Christianity - any religion - and it will all fit in perfectly into the film’s narrative.”
Raj, however, said, “I think I am making these films because I want to explore and understand Hinduism. I am a second generation American Indian (my mom is a Hindi teacher and that is how I know how to read and write Hindi). This is also my way of connecting with my heritage and that part of world.”
He added, “The film is an exploration of faith at its highest level. A religion studies professor has lost his faith and receives a call late night that takes him to a mysterious path. It leads him down a dark path that leads him to mystic puzzles and those puzzles lead him to a discovery of a global conspiracy. That conspiracy also reveals to him some new information about the history of Hinduism. Padmavyuh is a number of things – it is a mystery thriller, it is a Da Vinci Code style of a religious, mystery, puzzle. It is an exploration of faith, it is an exploration of religious fundamentalism.”
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