Ladies Study Group and Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet on 27.1.17 were privileged to host Sujoy Ghosh, director of movie ‘Kahaani’, along with the Team of movie ‘Pink,’ director Anirudha Roy Chowdhury, scriptwriter, Ritesh Shah and, actress Andrea Tailang. In conversation with them was Malavika Bannerjee, director, Kolkata Literary Meet. Abhilasha Sethia, President, LSG welcomed the guest speakers to the forum.
Malavika quizzed Sujoy the reason why his scripts are changing to “lead women characters from the front?”
Sujoy candidly answered that in his formative years, he had strong women in his household shaping his life. He said, initially, it was difficult selling ‘strong woman character’ scripts in Bollywood. He knocked on various doors for funding but none of the boxes were ticked for Kahaani. Vidya Balan, his “supermuse’ as referred by Malavika, was undeterred by his past movie disasters and showcased her complete faith in the script. In lieu to his film, “Ahalya”, he cryptically stated, “the more you talk about my film, more it lives.” He was excited about making a “film for the mobile.” Both his films, “Ahalya” and “Kahani “stem from ‘”Mahabharta” as Hindu Mythology has been extremely inspiring to him.
Malavika welcomed the Team “Pink” on the dais, talking about the 2016 she-film, starring Amitabh Bachchan, which became a talking point everywhere. “What I read in the newspapers every morning, watched in the news at night and saw all around me – the deep prejudices against women – is what shaped Pink,” said the director. For Roy Chowdhury, the film was a success because it derived its seeds from reality.
Shillong girl Andrea said it was the script that “resonated with me because most women have experienced what we girls went through in the film.” She felt proud to be part of the film and wanted to represent the North – East.
Shah said, “Pink is a propaganda film about consent…NO MEANS NO…That we could do a film on consent in a way that wasn’t filmi and by taking references from our lives was a huge reason why the film resonated with all of us.” He was transparent by stating that the trend of ‘women centric films’ is on the rise due to a beneficiary monetary factor – the women who are the big movie ticket buyers determine the trend.
Namrata Sureka, vice-president, LSG summed up beautifully, “The experience has created a new realization in us. We salute the ‘She’roes spirit which truly exists in every woman.”
The guest speakers were happy to freely intermingle with the audience over a sumptuous lay out of tea and refreshments in the garden of Daga Nikunj, graciously shared by Alka Jalan.