Dhadak director Shashank Khaitan recently responded to criticism that the remake of Marathi hit Sairat is more glamourous and doesn’t openly talk about the caste system.
At the success meet of Dhadak, Shashank said, “When you talk about realism, realism means that Taj Mahal is also real. When you go to Udaipur, you’ll see how exactly the city looks. I have done nothing extra to try and make it look more beautiful or glamourous. Coming to the characters, Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor’s character) belongs to the Rajput family. She is richer, has more exposure and that’s the way she dresses up. That’s the way she is. So, we have not tried glamourizing the place or the characters. We have kept things as real as possible. And, when you talk about poverty, Madhu’s character (played by Ishan Khattar) is from the lower middle-class background. His father has a restaurant and that’s how restaurants look in Udaipur. We didn’t want to unnecessarily try and brush it down further, just because we were making a real film. I think the realism comes from where the characters are based. And when it comes to our approach of class and caste, the divide between Rajputs and Mewadis (In Rajasthan) is a sub-caste and class issue. We didn’t use the words to verbalise it, but cinema is an audio-visual medium. I thought visually we have achieved it. Apparently, we should have been a bit more open about that, which is a lesson learnt. I don’t think we have brushed it aside. If you look at it, there is a big divide between the Rajputs and how they approach the caste issue. I don’t think we have shied away from it, maybe we weren’t too ‘in your face’ about it, but that’s a lesson learnt. Maybe next time if I approach a topic like that, I will be more sensitive.”
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On daring to adapt Sairat, the director said, “If I dare to dream to make movies, I dare to have the audacity to make whatever I feel like. But, I think this came out of the moment of pure fandom that I experienced after coming out of the theatre after watching Sairat. I was shocked, amazed and I rememeber calling Karan (Johar) to tell him that we need to adapt Sairat. Many a times you hear stories and you want to tell them, or you read and want to tell stories. In this case, I saw this film (Sairat) and realised that I know of this story in Rajasthan. I felt I needed to tell this story. I didn’t think too much about it or intellectualize it. I just wanted to make this film. And I have tried to make it with all the honesty and sincerity in the world.”