Films as a Vehicle for Change

by September 28, 2018 0 comments

Sui Dhaaga

Actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma share their opinions on how bringing change is the best films could do.

Actors Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan could have made a run-of-the-mill and easy choice but like the performers of their times they chose a script that engages with nation-building. Sui Dhaaga is a story of a married couple in a small town who start their own business and take pride in creating clothing in India. The duo have easily chosen to do a film with multiple songs and lots of drama. All they had to do was go to a producer and say that they want to work together but they chose to do a film with a message that is different from what we have seen them do so far.

“That’s the biggest thing a movie can do, bring about some kind of change,” said Varun. For the lead actor, the film had lessons about love and bonding in a family. “From this film, I understood that even when you don’t have anyone you have family. Without your family, success means nothing,” he added. For Anushka, the film is all about showing perseverance. The couple is trying hard to become entrepreneurs and they fall and rise again. “I think you can’t give up, situations will keep getting bad, one has to stay centered and stay their ground and make sure that you don’t lose the bigger picture,” she said.

The duo was in town for promotions for their new film Sui Dhaaga, a Yash Raj production, in which a married couple become entrepreneurs and create ‘Made in India’ clothing. To prepare for the role, the duo trained in using the handloom and block prints as well. “Using the handloom was really tough. I didn’t even try, but it was impressive the way Varun was doing it. I did block printing, which was also very difficult, because you have to really get them all aligned and if you don’t you completely screw up the entire block. I had to learn it and I was very scared but it was lot of fun. Sometimes when you don’t know the process, you try to understand the process, eventually you value it a lot more so I think today we stand having more value for all these things,” said Anushka.

When they started out, they didn’t realise how big the impact of this movie was going to be in inspiring India. The film is close to the policies of the government of India, which has been emphasising on how India has to become a manufacturer than import from foreign shores. This has powered Indians to turn entrepreneurs and the film then becomes very topical. “We obviously wanted the impact to be big and wanted people to get inspired but didn’t realise that from the trailer onwards we would receive the kind of love we did. The recognition we have got is tremendous. It reached out everywhere, which is great. I was shooting in Raipur and a lot of people asked me about the film. It’s been pretty good for a film like this to generate so much buzz,” Varun said.

When making a film, Anushka doesn’t look out for the impact right away but there is an understanding that a film was written with good intent and made with the best of intentions. “You realise that as actors you came on board because you understood that apart from entertaining people this is also making a very strong point in the best way that a movie can, which is through entertainment and not in a preachy way. Then you feel like you’re a part of something which is extremely important and it will make the right kind of noise,” said she.

To mould themselves into the characters of ordinary Indians, they had multiple workshops, readings and experts who helped with the language, but the most demanding part for Varun is the promotional work.

“From the get go, when the script was offered, and when Sharad and Maneesh came to us we kind of dove into it workshops and it’s been very fruitful,” he said.

The story is centered around  a couple that gets married first and falls in love gradually. Anushka said, “They are firstly life partners, then business partners. One is incomplete without the other and there has to be equal  value that you need to have for one another. I think that’s what sui dhaaga symbolises, according to me. While the film is making a strong point, it’s showing you that through the process of these two people, their journey, their story, their ups and downs is a rare love story between a husband and wife. The love starts to blossom post marriage and because of working together,” she said, adding that the couple comes from a place where people are married off early and people hardly have any ambitions. “It’s just about making ends meet, doing the bare minimum to run things. But how these two people can have a vision or foresight and how that results in them coming together is shown in the film,” she said.

For Varun, while the film has heroism, it is also about how the couple overcomes obstacles. “There are a lot of highs. It’s gonna be a surprise for people when they’ll watch the film,” he said. The humour and positive parts in the film hasn’t come out in the trailer entirely and people will be surprised when they watch it, said Anushka.

When asked if it was difficult to break stereotypes of what a hero should be like, Varun said, “The audience always want something new as long as it’s entertaining.” Anushka added, “As an actor you have to continue breaking stereotypes. I think you should not let any stereotypes get made to begin with. The youth of the country, while they follow people on Instagram and Twitter, they all want to seek there own individuality. As actors it’s our duty to constantly reinvent ourselves and make us more interesting for the audience,” she added. Varun and she have been experimenting since early on through films like October and NH-10 but as actors they are able to do that only after establishing themselves, they believe. “Anyone who says that they are experimenting from their first film is lying. You take what you get,” said he. Anushka added, “Initially you won’t get those kind of options and opportunities. At a later stage, you have more choices to do typical and experimental things. I won’t say experimenting but balancing,” she said.

Writer: Asmita Sarkar

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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