Eroticism is a creative depiction of sexuality and sex, otherwise it’s porn: Swara Bhaskar

Swara Bhaskar feels that without creativity, the depiction of sexual desires is nothing but porn.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi | Published: March 21, 2017 8:12 pm
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The actor known for her unconventional roles in movies like Nil Battey Sannata, Raanjhanaa and Tanu Weds Manu, Swara Bhaskar has yet again chosen an out-of-the-box character with Avinash Das’s Anarkali of Arrah. The movie which narrates the story of an erotic performer who croons songs that are filled with double entendre has been talk of the town for its content-driven plot. In a candid conversation with indianexpress.com, Swara talked at length about her movie, her character, and her preparation for her role of an erotic performer. Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Definition of an erotic dancer for Swara Bhaskar
In the film, I am a performer of erotic and double meaning songs. Eroticism for me is anything which depicts sex, sexual desires, beauty and body in a creative and artistic manner. Without creativity, the depiction of sexual desires is nothing but porn.

On her look in the film
Special attention was given to the look of my character — loud foundation, glossy eye shadows, dark nail paints and lipsticks. I myself made sure that my look is a visual recall of Anarkali. For this, I made a budget for myself keeping in mind that how much money will Anarkali spend on her clothes. The interesting part is, I shopped for my costumes from Arrah. From that roadside ‘thelaas’ (shops) which sell cloth piece at Rs. 30 per metre to the shops which have sarees worth Rs 100, I explored every shop there and then sent pictures to my costume designer Rupa Chourasia who is from Bihar. Even the underwear I wore in the film is from Arrah.

What is the USP of the film
USP of the film is its setting, which was created on the screen last in Teesri Kasam. The best thing about the film is that instead of portraying that a ‘tawaif’ too has a heart of gold or she too has emotions and refuses to sell her body, our film starts from a point where we agree with your mindset. You think Anarkali is characterless, she sleeps with people, and has multiple partners, fine, she has. So what? What’s the big deal? We are nowhere in our movie saying that she was a ‘bechaari’ (victim) or one who was just like us. We are not apologetic of what Anarkali is or what she does for a living.

Also read | Language Games: Anarkali of Arrah

How difficult is it for you as an artist to draw that distinction between an erotic dancer and a sex worker?
There is no difficulty for me as an actor to show that distinction. It is about the mindset of the viewers. People must understand the difference between a sex worker and a dancer. A sex worker is someone who is making money by having sex and a dancer is only singing about sex and her income is coming from her performance. And if people think that if a girl is singing about sex, talking about sex or has multiple sex partners, she is a prostitute then it is reflective of their narrow mindedness. It is not my problem.

We have always seen you playing a girl from UP or Bihar? What’s the obsession with these small towns?
I don’t see it as an obsession with UP or Bihar. It has been very kind of UP and Bihar for making my career grow and I am grateful to these states for giving me the most memorable characters be it in Raanjhanaa, Tanu weds Manu or Nil Battey Sannata. Talking in general terms, Bollywood is moving towards small town and this is great as the larger percentage of movie goers live in these towns and seeing their own story on screen make them connect well with it.

Also read | Swara Bhaskar: I imagined I would become a popular actor like superstar Shah Rukh Khan

On carrying the movie on her shoulders single-handedly like Vidya Balan and Kangana Ranaut
Whether it is a movie of Vidya Balan or Meryl Steep, it can never be an effort of a single person. The script of the film is the real protagonist and then there are other actors, post production people, director and many others who complete the film.

On her preparation for her role
Avinash sir hired a guide for me in Arrah. He was the only one who made me understand the little intricacies of people of Arrah. I went to Munni Orchestra party there and met the owner Munni. I heard their songs, watched their shows, and learnt their vocabulary.

Three words for your haters on social media
Get A Life.

Actor whom you would like to romance on-screen
One and only Shah Rukh Khan.

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