‘Mirch’ a celebration of womanhood: Director (Interview)

By Robin Bansal, IANS
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NEW DELHI - After his critically-acclaimed “Godmother”, National Award winning director Vinay Shukla is back to exploring women issues with Mirch. Throwing light on the sexual libido of the fairer sex, the outing, says the director, celebrates womanhood.

Mirch is a celebration of womanhood. There are four stories in the movie and they are all about what happens when a women is caught red-handed with her lover and how she manages to wriggle out of the situation scot-free, Shukla told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.

But it doesn’t show women in poor light. It is about if a woman has her wits, then she can salvage any situation. That is in essence the content of Mirch as well as the message. Women should go watch this film absolutely uninhibited and free. They will love it, he added.

Produced by Big Pictures, Mirch revolves around a struggling filmmaker Maanav (Arunoday Singh) who weaves together four narratives, based on issues of women emancipation for his movie.

At a deeper level it is also about the gender equality in a relationship and at a much deeper level it is about how an artist finds his freedom in todays mercantile world… about the kind of situations a filmmaker faces today, said Shukla, who has stitched together stories from ancient, medieval and contemporary eras in the script.

The first story is from the Sanskrit classic, the Panchtantra and placed in ancient times. Then it travels in its various versions to the modern times.

The second story is placed in medieval times and inspired from the 14th century Italian classic, ‘The Decameron’ by (Giovanni) Boccaccio. The next is from an Italian fable set in contemporary times and the fourth and the connecting story has been written by me, he added.

When Shukla decided to tell a women-centric story, he roped in the best peformers from Bollywood - Konkana Sen Sharma, Raima Sen, Shahana Goswami and Ila Arun. Supporting them in the cast will be Shreyas Talpade, Boman Irani and Prem Chopra.

Having been to festivals in New York, New Jersey and the Mumbai Film Festival, “Mirch” will hit the screens after a much-delayed wait. I wish it could have been released earlier but nevertheless, its better late than never.

Shukla has been an active script and dialogue writer over the last three decades with close to 25 films to his credit like Hum Paanch, Raat, Ram-Jaane and Virasat. He ventured into direction with Sameera in 1981 before winning laurels for his second outing Godmother that came in 1999 and fetched six National Awards.

A gold medalist from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, his third directorial venture Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe came in 2002.

Asked about the long intervals in wielding the megaphone, Shukla said: I wish I were able to make more films… Hopefully, I’ll roll out my next next year.

Shukla is known for chosing women-oriented subjects, but says his next will be different.

I find the stories fascinating and these coincidentally focus on women. But my next script is not women-centric for that matter. Its about cast politics in Uttar Pradesh and about relationships. There is no title as of now and I havent decided the casting yet, but it will have a prominent actor, added the director, who hopes the Godmother acclaim will obviously draw footfalls for Mirch.

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