Filmmaker Shonali Bose says it is difficult for her to weave a story around a male character because she is woman-oriented as a person and director.
Bose, who has helmed the upcoming Kalki Koechlin starrer “Margarita, With A Straw”, said she will always attempt at showing progressive female characters and breaking gender stereotypes.
“I am very woman-oriented, it is very difficult for me to write a story around a man. I will always make women-oriented films unless someone gives me an amazing script. My film will always be progressive. For me, the gender issue is huge. We live in a patriarchal society and we filmmakers should smash that, even when we make a mainstream Hindi movie.
“For example ‘DDLJ’, look at the way how patriarchy has been shown in it, though the film is one of my favourites or Homi Adajania’s ‘Cocktail’, I told him ‘You show this empowered chic in the film and in the end she wants to please the guy’s mother and get married. These are simple messages, how dare you send these messages out’,” Shonali told PTI.
The 49-year-old director thinks even if she makes a male-oriented movie, the women in her story will be strong and empowered.
“Even if I have a male-oriented film, female characters in it will be strong. Progressive women exist but we rarely see them on screen. In ‘Margarita…’, I have shown the mother driving the car… and father takes the back seat but he is not weak.
“Progressive men exist in our society but not shown in movies. My attempt every time is to break the myths and the stereotyping that exists at all levels,” she said.
Shonali, who made her directorial debut with “Amu”, a film on 1984 genocide, said Bollywood is in an exciting phase where lines between independent and commercial cinema are blurring.
The director feels today’s commercial actors are ready to foray into content-driven cinema.
“There are a lot of exciting actors in the industry right now. What happened for the first time, in ’70s, there was a complete Chinese wall between commercial films and independent cinema, which was known as arthouse. But today there is no such wall. Lines are blurring. So many mainstream actors have shown interest in watching ‘Margarita…’, so now if I give them a script, they will read it.
“If the role excites them, they will do it and that’s what will make such films commercial. That’s what is exciting. You can make a very intelligent tight film and it becomes massy if you take a commercial actor,” she said.