Meghna Gulzar on Chhapaak: ‘Let’s hope this film starts a conversation on what could be probable solutions’
Meghna Gulzar says there is a lot of awareness about crimes against women but not much about acid attacks.Updated: Jan 12, 2020 13:45 IST
“Chhapaak is an important story and we are all encouraged with the love being showered on us,” says director Meghna Gulzar about her recently released film, which she co-produced as well. While the film is based on acid violence, the issue of women’s safety in India is a burning issue, too. The filmmaker hopes that her film will contribute to the conversation and make people aware about acid attacks.
Meghna says, “There is a lot of awareness on sexual assault and rape, which are crimes of violence against women, but acid violence, although it is rampant in our country, there is lack of awareness about it. Acid is going beyond crime against women and being weaponised. Men are being attacked and property disputes end up in attacks. Let’s hope this film starts a conversation on what could be probable solutions.”
They say life imitates art and vice versa. Moreover, how impressionable people get influenced by crime depicted in films or the tube, has always been debated. The filmmaker gives her take, “The sensibility and intent of the presentation is important. Are you going to glorify the crime or the consequences? That approach is critical,” she adds.
While her movies, Talvar (2015), Raazi (2018) and Chhapaak have some elements of crime, Meghna says she was never interested in the genre, but has just stumbled into it. “I wrote Chhapaak after Talvar but I shot Raazi. After Raazi, I wrote the script on Sam Manekshaw but made Chhapaak. Scripts have their own destiny. My films straddle two-three genres — such as crime-thriller, social drama, police procedural. I want to give my audience a fuller viewing experience with many elements,” she says.
Meghna, 46, reveals that even before casting Deepika Padukone in Chhapaak, she was impressed with her acting abilities. “I saw her in Om Shanti Om (2007), which is one of my favourite films, and Farah Khan is one of my favourite filmmakers. I love the reincarnation theme that Indian films have and I have loved watching Karz (1980), Madhumati (1958), Karan Arjun (1995). For Deepika, to play a double role in her debut was impressive. She was hilarious in Chennai Express (2013) and adorable in Piku (2015). I was aware of her calibre, but she lived her character and became Malti beyond the transformation,” she shares.
When we spoke to her right after the trailer launch, she was happy with the reception the promos got: “It feels nice when your work gets validation, whether it is from actors or producers... the fraternity sending text messages that they loved your work. That pat is very reassuring. Every filmmaker needs validation.”
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