Mrunal Thakur on 5 years in the film industry: There is still a gap between impactful storytelling and mainstream reach
Actor Mrunal Thakur talks about storytelling and mainstream audience, as she completes 5 years in the industry.
It is a milestone year for Mrunal Thakur as she completes 5 years in the film industry, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of her debut film Love Sonia (2018). Calling these past five years "tremendous learning", she says, "My debut film Love Sonia holds a special place in my heart. It's not so much disappointing I would say, as much it is a observation that films like this, that delve into the pressing issues affecting women, still struggle to find a vast audience despite their critical acclaim," adding, "Cinema has the power to ignite change and awareness, but there seems to be a gap between impactful storytelling and mainstream reach. I get the films are largely a mode of escapism, but it is also a way to shape opinions and mirror realities."
Thakur stands as an example of an artist who traverses across linguistic frontiers. With Telugu films such as Sita Raman (2022) and her upcoming projects VD 13 and Nanni 30 along with her Hindi projects, the 31-year-old shares that she only keeps a fresh approach while doing cross collaborations. "The only approach that I have while exploring roles in different film industries is that it has to be fresh," says Thakur. "I cannot have the baggage of a success or a failure of any role that I have done in the past, while performing any new role. When you start a new film, you start it fresh," she further adds.
Highlighting the importance of creative conversations, the actor tells us, "I believe in surrendering to my director, but creative conversations are also extremely needed, otherwise, you would end up making the same point in every film." "I want to be known as Sonia, Adhira, and Sita. I am really happy that whenever I travel somewhere, I am called by all these names. This is the biggest award for me. No award can give me so much joy as the audience addressing me with love and the characters that I played on screen," the actor explains.
Moreover, Thakur believes that storytelling transcends language barriers. "It's as good as watching a show or film on mute. It is no different; only the language is changed. When you watch on mute, you still connect through actions," she remarks.
In recent years, the Indian film industry has witnessed the rise of pan India films, gaining recognition on a national scale. Commenting on this trend, the Gumraah actor says, "Earlier also, there were pan India films, but it's now that we have started noticing them. OTT platforms are making them available for everyone to have access."
"I am very glad to be entering the industry in this era, because of the wide range of options we have for content. Today, I am not stereotyped to do Marathi films, because I am technically a Maharashtrian. I have gotten opportunities to do films in so many languages. There are so many opportunities for me right now that I get confused about which one to grab. All the actors from different mediums are getting what they deserve," she wraps up.