‘Laapataa Ladies’ movie: ‘A hero can be macho without wielding guns’…

‘Laapataa Ladies’ movie: ‘A hero can be macho without wielding guns’… post thumbnail image

Kiran Rao finds herself continually drawn into discussions about her personal life, particularly her divorce from Aamir Khan in 2021, despite her focus on her latest film, Laapataa Ladies. Sitting down for a post-release conversation in a Bandra office belonging to Aamir Khan Productions, the production house behind the film, Kiran reflects on the public’s curiosity about their professional collaboration post-divorce. She muses on the novelty some find in the notion that divorced individuals can maintain a familial bond, acknowledging how this attention sometimes overshadows the film’s narrative. However, she takes it in stride, recognizing the adage that “all PR is good PR.”

Kiran’s return to the director’s chair

Laapataa Ladies marks Kiran’s return to the director’s chair after over a decade since her debut with Dhobi Ghat in 2010. The film has garnered praise from veteran actor Shabana Azmi, who commended its authenticity and performances. Kiran emphasizes the film’s portrayal of rural India, a setting often overlooked in mainstream Hindi cinema. She believes in the richness of stories within villages and small towns, challenging the notion that escapism is the primary draw for audiences.

Kiran’s return to the director’s chair

At the heart of Laapataa Ladies lies a comedic mix-up involving two newly-wed brides, set against the backdrop of ‘Nirmal Pradesh,’ a fictional state crafted to universalize the film’s themes. Kiran explains the choice to avoid specific cultural markers to prevent potential offense, opting instead to create a setting with its own rules and dynamics. The film’s central characters, Phool and Pushpa, symbolize the diversity of experiences within womanhood, each navigating their unique challenges with wit and resilience.

Kiran’s treatment of the male characters, notably Deepak and Manohar, challenges stereotypes without vilifying them. Deepak, Phool’s husband, is portrayed with complexity, portraying a man grappling with societal expectations while genuinely caring for his wife. Similarly, Ravi Kishan’s portrayal of Manohar, the local policeman, subverts the rural cop stereotype, adding layers of humor and humanity to the role. Kiran reflects on the decision not to cast Aamir Khan, citing the potential for his star power to overshadow the film’s narrative authenticity, a consideration born from her previous experiences with audience perceptions.

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