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‘Chhapaak’ director hopes film will raise awareness about acid attacks

Chhapaak film
The director of Deepika Padukone starrer “Chhapaak” hopes the film will find solutions regarding women’s safety in India and raise awareness about acid attacks.
“Chhapaak is an important story and we are all encouraged with the love being showered on us,” says director Meghna Gulzar about her recently released film, which she co-produced as well.
The film is based on acid violence but the issue of women’s safety in India is a burning issue. The filmmaker hopes that her film will contribute to the conversation and make people aware about acid attacks.
Meghna says, “There is a lot of awareness on sexual assault and rape, which are crimes of violence against women, but acid violence, although it is rampant in our country, there is lack of awareness about it. Acid is going beyond crime against women and being weaponised. Men are being attacked and property disputes end up in attacks. Let’s hope this film starts a conversation on what could be probable solutions.”
The heinous crime of acid attacks is prevalent where around 200 women are victims every year. The filmmaker has given her take on how people get influenced to commit the crime. “The sensibility and intent of the presentation is important. Are you going to glorify the crime or the consequences? That approach is critical,” she adds.
While her movies Talvar (2015) and Raazi (2018), Chhapaak has some elements of crime. Meghna says she was never interested in the genre but has just stumbled into it.
“I wrote Chhapaak after Talvar but I shot Raazi. After Raazi, I wrote the script on Sam Manekshaw but made Chhapaak. Scripts have their own destiny. My films straddle two-three genres such as crime-thriller, social drama, police procedural. I want to give my audience a fuller viewing experience with many elements,” she says.
Meghna reveals that even before casting Deepika Padukone in Chhapaak, she was impressed with her acting abilities.
“I saw her in Om Shanti Om (2007), which is one of my favourite films, and Farah Khan is one of my favourite filmmakers. For Deepika, to play a double role in her debut was impressive. She was hilarious in Chennai Express and adorable in Piku. I was aware of her calibre, but she lived her character and became Malti beyond the transformation,” she shares.
She said Deepika was happy with the reception after the film trailer was launched. “It feels nice when your work gets validation, whether it is from actors or producers… the fraternity sending text messages that they loved your work. That pat is very reassuring. Every filmmaker needs validation.”
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