Anand L Rai on Padmavati controversy: It is disappointing as a filmmaker

At the "Paintra" song launch from Mukkabaaz on Friday, Anurag Kashyap and Aanand L Rai took time out to discuss the Padmavati controversy with indianexpress.com.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai | Published: December 2, 2017 11:37 am
aanand l rai on padmavati controversy Aanand L Rai says Padmavati controversy is disappointing.

Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Anand L Rai unveiled “Paintra”, the first song of Mukkabaaz, featuring Jimmy Shergill, Ravi Kishan, Vineet Kumar Singh and Zoya Hussain. At the song launch on Friday, Anurag and Aanand took time out to discuss the Padmavati controversy with indianexpress.com.

On being asked that how fair it is for a certain section of the society to get hurt by a film they haven’t even watched, Anurag Kashyap said, “I don’t think there is any section of the society that is actually having a problem. Talking about Karni Sena, how many ‘senas’ have you heard for the first time in the last one month? I have gone through a similar experience when Water was banned. I was witness to the main party protesting against the film. It was called Kashi Sanskrit Suraksha Sangharsh Samiti. It did not exist, but it cropped up two days before the film started.”

Kashyap then added, “Films in India are a very popular thing. It becomes a horse everybody wants to ride on. The problem is more than any of us or the society or anybody else, the responsibility lies with you, the media. The media allows this horse within the racecourse, and allows these people to ride it. And since you are getting bigger news, you make the controversy larger.”

Aanand L Rai, however, said that controversies surrounding any film is disappointing. He said, “It is disappointing as a filmmaker. Why can’t we as a team say that, you can’t judge a film without even watching it? Even I can’t talk about Padmavati, as I haven’t watched it.”

To this Anurag added, “Even if I watch the film, with so much discussion, and so many perspectives, what has come out of it? We are discussing this all, just to keep it in news, and empowering the elements that actually are hindrances. There are a lot of people invested in it, who are sitting there and wondering where did they go wrong. What did they do wrong?”

Aanand L Rai then continued, “We filmmakers are also thinking, ‘Oh! You can also face this!’. So, before you start thinking, even before an idea comes to you, we’d kill it because you don’t want to face this. It is like you’re killing the baby before it’s birth.”

“Every filmmaker has their own journey. If I have something strong to say, then I have to face the consequences. Sometimes I might not want to do it. I would want to make a fluff film. At times I feel exhausted also, that why someone has to put on a fight for some things. Like, for me Udta Punjab shouldn’t have been a fight, but it was because of one person.” Rai added.

While discussing the consequences of such controversies, Anurag Kashyap said, “There are so many such consequences of the fight. Business definitely gets affected.” To this Rai said, “Business definitely gets affected, yes. At the same time, as a producer, you are not always there to see how much you are making out of a film. People’s confidence gets affected. Their sense of self gets affected. People start living in fear. It makes me wonder if we are getting more and more regressive. I wonder if filmmakers like Raj Kapoor must have also faced such issues when he made films like Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Can we make films that they made, today? Or is it that there was more freedom of speech then, than today? What are we doing about it? Society was then as it is now. I have not seen society getting hurt. It is mostly certain invested elements that use a situation.”

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