SONAM KAPOOR AHUJA & SWARA BHASKAR
Interview By: Drishti Pandey
We know about the strong friendship that Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Swara Bhaskar share and that further reflects in their latest release ‘Veere Di Wedding’ which is about four women, their friendship and life. In a brief chat, we catch up with Sonam and Swara to talk about this film and more… Excerpts
What reactions have you all received after the trailer and songs were launched?
Swara: I think there’s a lot of excitement among the audience, also all my friends told me the film looks ‘wow’ and they are waiting to go and watch it. The best part is I am receiving messages from different parts of the world stating that; there’s a lot of buzz all over and people are waiting to book their tickets. I think everywhere in the world where people are watching Hindi cinema know about this film and are excited for it; so I feel very positive about it.
Sonam are you similar to Avni?
Sonam: I’m not at all like Avni, there are certain characteristics that my sister has put in like I am very particular about the way my looks are. I am very OCD about such things; I am very neat and clean so I think that’s one thing similar to Avni. Otherwise I am not like her.
How exciting was it to work with three actresses as compared to working with actors?
Sonam: It’s easier because there is no baggage and it’s not stressful. Besides Salman and Akshay, I don’t think I have worked with any mainstream heroes. Usually the films I have done be it ‘Neerja’, ‘Dolly ki Doli’, or a ‘Khoobsurat’, or even a ‘Raanjhanaa’, it’s just been easy for me. I think ‘Veere Di Wedding’ was more fun and I knew that the responsibility wasn’t on my shoulders unlike the others films I’ve done. I feel a little less responsible.
How is it to be directed by a male director when it’s a female driven film?
Sonam: I mean when Zoya is directing films with boys and their wanting, then why can’t Shashanka do it. Mehul Suri and Nidhi Mehra have written the film so there’s a man and a girl who has written it. So, I believe the film needs both perspectives on it and it’s a film produced by women with women in it.
You both haven’t said that this is a feminist film but it’s kind of thrust upon you, so has the constant scrutiny made you depart from that because this film seems to be a pleasant change…
Swara: I think Sonam has always maintained that she is a feminist, and even I have said it if anyone asked me; so both have stated that and we are proud of it. But then it doesn’t mean that the film is made on that purpose because there are lots of people who have worked in this film. It’s a film about four women dealing with life, friendship, love, marriage and so on… I think it’s an empowering film which is very liberating in many ways especially when it comes to how you’ve seen gender in mainstream Bollywood but it’s not necessary that it may be your take away from it. The kind of criticism we have been getting has been like we are reducing feminism. But who said anything about feminism? We didn’t carry banners saying it’s a feminist film! We are showing a story about realistic four urban working women and the film is about friendship. With this film we are trying to give the audience more flawed characters, grey characters.
Sonam: Also when you’re putting a label on a film we are not saying it’s not liberating, it is, but it’s a film about women and it’s a film for women also. My sister and I only want make films where women are shown strong characters. The fact that people are judging it before watching it is upsetting.
Swara: I think people who are feminist and were happy about the film and felt liberated and people who are not feminists felt unhappy because they felt it was false empowerment and people who are anti feminist anyways hate us and hate the film so I think everyone just needs to chill and watch the film first and understand what’s it about. As we said I am a feminist and Sonam is a feminist but there are other people in the film who want to be indentified differently, may be the producers have their own way of identifying. It is not just two of us making the film, there are thousand people who are working on this film and who are bringing their own thing to it.
Sonam: I think it’s unfair to put labels on any film or anybody as it’s not a chick flick and that’s why we said it before.
Swara: And also if anybody who feels let down I would suggest them to watch the film first. This film is doing something important in mainstream Bollywood, it is first time in 105 years where there are four women who are not falling in love with the same guy. Let’s start with that and I think that’s liberating, it’s about four women’s life stories where no injustice happens to anyone of them. So isn’t it liberating that nothing horrible happens to women; it’s normal and it’s their life, it’s liberating because the they speak the way they think.
Sonam: People who made this film are self proclaimed feminist, I don’t think I made any career choices which are regressive from the last five to six years when I came into my senses and became an adult.
Swara: I believe we should allow people to think whatever they want to think about the film; if it’s liberating, empowering, or even a feminist film or may be for others it is not. So I think at the end of the day the film that’s doing something new and great is worth a watch.
Sonam: Any piece of art that’s put out there you can take what you feel like, everyone has their own perspective. You analyze things and then see what you want from it, may be a man might take something from this film, may be one woman will take something else from it. It’s a film about four women who are going through different stages in their life; so we have to just believe that it’s made for a moral purpose and we are not doing anything that is sexiest, racist, and homophobic or in anywhere labeling anything.