Toilet: Ek Prem Katha director: Films on social issues were limited to film festivals
Director Shree Narayan Singh is happy that he got to make his directorial debut with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, a film which highlights the issue of open defecation in rural India. Starring Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar in the lead roles, the film is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and is doing well at the box office.
“I come from a small village called Mahadev. Till date, whenever I go back, while the ladies have toilets constructed for them, men still go to relieve themselves in the fields,” says Narayan.
All praises for the film’s storyline, the director adds, “As soon as Siddharth-Garima (writers of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha) finished narrating the script, I [instantly] agreed to do the film, because this is a very important topic and has never been talked about before, in Bollywood.”
However, he feels that the Indian audience still feels hesitant when it comes to discussing taboo topics. “For example, even today, we all feel apprehensive when talking about sex in front of our parents. This culture still exists in our society, therefore you need to take an indirect approach to educate your viewers. The way you tell your story matters the most,” adds the director.
Narayan has, in the past, edited films such as Special 26 (2013) and Baby (2015). Turning director for the first time with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, he adds that the audience is slowly warming up to such topics. “Films on social issues, till some time ago, were only limited to doing the rounds of film festivals, but the fact that we can now make a mainstream film about a taboo topic proves that logon ka cheezon ko dekhne ka nazariya badal raha hai.”
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