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    I don’t like judging any of my characters: Alankrita Shrivastava on Bombay Begums

    Director Alankrita Shrivastava, who has excelled at capturing the feminine gaze together with her movies, says she will by no means write males who’re heroes as she tries to current her characters with all their flaws. With motion pictures like Turning 30, Lipstick Beneath My Burkha and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Shrivastava has damaged away from the Hindi cinema’s typical slotting of girls into both good beings or vamps.

    “I believe individuals are completely different and I simply attempt to make them actual. It simply relies upon, generally they’re fantastic, and generally they don’t seem to be. However I can’t make heroes out of them. I don’t even make heroes out of my feminine characters, so I undoubtedly gained’t do this to the male characters,” Shrivastava informed PTI in an interview.

    Moreover tackling themes of liberation, freedom, and critical points like marital rape and abuse, Shrivastava has offered girls who overtly pursue their ambitions and wishes and within the course, break the shackles positioned on them by males of their lives.

    The director, whose newest collection Bombay Begums on Netflix delves into the lives of 5 girls from completely different sections of society, who all need various things in life, is conscious of the critics who imagine she presents males in a destructive gentle. However the director mentioned she tries to put in writing her characters as actually as doable.

    “Typically, individuals really feel that I write male characters who’re very destructive. However I attempt to write them from the experiences that individuals have had. To be sincere, I don’t like judging any of my characters… I imagine human beings are advanced and everybody has many sides,” Shrivastava mentioned.

    The filmmaker mentioned that the boys in her tales seem as per the experiences of the ladies characters and what position they play of their lives. “In all my movies, ranging from Turning 30, the boys seem solely as how the feminine characters expertise them. We’re probably not following the journeys of these male characters. These characters exist in relation to the feminine characters. So it relies upon actually on what’s occurring in that character’s life. There are some male characters who could also be supportive, some could also be in battle and a few could also be betraying these characters. In order that’s actually solely how we see them.”


    The present, which options an ensemble forged of Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami, Amruta Subhash, Plabita Borthakur, and Aadhya Anand, delves into the lives of 5 girls from completely different sections of society.

    A typical theme that the present has tried to discover is the bodily struggles of its girls. There’s a 12-year-old Shai (Anand) who’s attaining puberty, and however, Bhatt performs 49-year-old Rani on the appearance of menopause.

    Then there’s Fatima who’s going through fixed stress from her husband to conceive a baby even if her physique is displaying indicators that it isn’t doable.

    “I like to take a look at characters from a holistic standpoint, particularly like the first characters. I imagine that for a girl, her physique is at all times part of her life each day. We get intervals as a result of girls are those who bear kids. So I really feel like there’s at all times one thing occurring with a lady’s physique at no matter age she is. It’s like a continuing theme in her life. It’s one thing that all of us have handled in numerous methods.”

    Shrivastava mentioned a deep dive into the lives of her lead characters couldn’t have been doable for her with out analyzing their bodily struggles. “Every character has a particular wrestle and relationship with their our bodies that’s explored as a subtext within the present. Visually, one can see it by Shai’s drawings. They inform one thing a couple of lady and supply a extra candid lens as to what girls’s our bodies ought to seem like.”

    Patriarchy is one other theme that’s widespread throughout all of her work.

    The filmmaker mentioned the concept girls ought to exist to serve males has been deeply ingrained in girls.

    “The concept that girls really feel like that their best responsibility is to serve the boys of their lives, beginning with respecting the daddy, then brother, then husband after which it’s the son. It’s at all times about placing the person in your life forward of you. So I believe that internalised the concept.”

    Ladies are additionally informed to always compete with one another, which prevents them from changing into allies, Shrivastava added.

    “I believe all of us are undoubtedly at completely different levels of making an attempt to unlearn and see the world otherwise as a result of there may be a lot conditioning. When a lady enters a room, she won’t really feel like she owns the room in the identical manner a person might really feel.

    “In some ways, my characters are literally going by that strategy of placing themselves on the centre of their very own lives and never feeling responsible about it.”

    Final week, the federal government unveiled pointers for OTT (over-the-top) platforms as per which a ”code of ethics” and three-tier grievance redressal mechanism can be relevant for platforms resembling Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, information publishers and digital media.

    When requested if the brand new authorities pointers would someway have an effect on the artistic freedom offered by OTT platforms to content material creators, Shrivastava mentioned individuals will discover a strategy to inform their story. As artists, we should think about the truth that humanity can’t survive with out tales. We’ll inform our tales someway or the opposite,” she added.

    Bombay Begums, a six-episode collection, premieres on Netflix on March 8, Worldwide Ladies’s Day.

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