Anubhav Sinha’s latest directorial Thappad, starring Taapsee Pannu, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pavail Gulati, Dia Mirza and Tanvi Azmi received rave reviews from the audience as well as the critics. The film is cited as one of the best feminist films made in Bollywood for not only showing how wrong domestic violence is but also focusing on the sacrifices and unfair things that happen with women in marriage due to patriarchal beliefs.
Along with spectacular performances, Thappad is also praised for its brilliant writing which Sinha co-wrote with the very talented, Mrunmayee Lagoo. Koimoi got a chance to interact with Anubhav Sinha and Mrunmayee Lagoo and I asked their thoughts on how it’s said that a male director can’t tell a woman’s story as good as a woman director does.
Mrunmayee disagreed with this statement and said, “I think it’s really not true. We have had such amazing films by Gurudutt and others with such amazing and strong female characters. So I think, this whole thing about men can’t do justice to female characters or female point of view is really (wrong). I think a filmmaker is deeply convinced about what he is doing and if the intentions are right there, the gender really makes no difference.”
On the contrary, Anubhav Sinha agreed to it and he also revealed that he hired more women in his team after #MeToo in 2018. The director said, “You are sort of right. But there were too many women around me and helping me, obviously Mrunmayee, then there’s a whole lot of for ADs (assistant director), costume team. I like to talk to the whole crew and take their opinions. Even on the sets, every time I was in doubt, I would turn to them and they have an opinion.”
He further stated, “Ever since the whole #MeToo happened, we hired more and more women in the crew.” I asked him that when #MeToo happened, there have been talks that now women won’t be hired much in industry and Sinha revealed that he wanted to prove that wrong, “I told Sagar, hire as many women as we can. There should be only women in the team. There were always a lot of women on the sets.”
He concluded, “I am sure, even I am personally sensitive towards women. But you can’t give it all to me.”
Anubhav Sinha is already receiving a lot of praises for Thappad. But by hiring more women and especially after #MeToo when there was fear that employment opportunities for them would go down, he proved why he’s the kind of filmmaker we need in Bollywood. Sinha is also quite vocal about his political views on social media and despite getting trolled, he doesn’t stop from speaking his mind.