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Bollywood should move past giving female actors ‘flimsy work’: Aahana Kumra

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Actor Aahana Kumra on engaged on movie units which can be removed from female-friendly, and why the inflow of stars on OTT spells dangerous information for younger actors

Traversing overwhelmed paths just isn’t actually up the alley for Aahana Kumra. Just this yr, the Lipstick Under My Burkha star considers herself lucky to be credited in movies that match a broad spectrum of genres — Marzi, Betaal, Khuda Haafiz (all for various OTT platforms).

“I’m glad I got the opportunity because I’m also getting to work with some mad actors,” she exclaims over telephone from Mumbai.

Aahana’s newest is the Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury movie, Rules of the Game, which is streaming on ZEE5.

The movie follows the story of a pair Priya (Aahana) and Gaurav (performed by Chandan Roy Sanyal), who wish to spice it up within the mattress. “They are thoroughly bored in their sex life, and the wife tries to incorporate games as a catalyst. And then it gets complicated,” says Aahana.

She shot for the movie nearly 18 months in the past however remembers clearly how the primary assembly went with the director, an individual she evidently appears to carry a whole lot of admiration for. “He (Aniruddha) manages to enroll you into a story.He makes you very comfortable,” she says of the National Award-winning filmmaker.

Aahana Kumra with Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury whereas filming ‘Rules of the Game’
 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“When we met for the first time, he invited me home and fed me so well,” she laughs, and pauses so as to add: “He gives you a lot of love but then there is also a lot of respect. He writes great stories for women, and there are a lot of women on his set. So you feel safe. When it’s a female-driven set, automatically you will notice the changes to the colour palette, the mood and the voices on set.”

Laws of equality

It is a matter that has Aahana bothered. For the various progressive tropes Bollywood or the remainder of Indian cinema tries to push onto an viewers, capturing units are nonetheless largely operated as male fiefdoms.

“It is not easy to be on set for long because the job is strenuous. You are shooting in locations that are not friendly for women. I have worked on sets where there was no loo for women. So the issue is not only about addressing gender disparity but also to make the set female-friendly,” she remarks.

She, nevertheless, finds rays of hope with extra variety of ladies now taking up lively roles in a movie set.

Aahana Kumra in a still from ‘Rules of the Game’

“It will take a while for the conditioning to break, but the process will hasten with more people taking a chance. I feel happy with all the younger females I notice on set. It is fun and exciting. There are very few female cinematographers and directors in our industry, but if you look at their work, they tell stories in a different way; their narratives are so different from men,” she says.

Changes to the panorama started with the affect of OTT content material, she believes. With extra female actors getting alternatives to play stronger, meatier roles on digital streaming platforms, there was a noticeable affect in the best way mainstream filmmakers write content material for girls.

“We have started to realise that people want to watch a story with a female lead,” she says, and provides: “The reason why women are so hungry for roles or are constantly fighting for it is because they don’t get the kind of opportunities to perform in their roles as the men. Don’t give us flimsy work. I don’t know what is holding people back in making these kind of narratives. Why is there only one Alankrita [Shrivastava] or Ashwiny [Tiwari] trying to make films about another woman?”

Star-sized shadow

With the OTT house attaining vital progress over the previous couple of months, courtesy partly to lockdown, alternatives are on the rise for younger artistes.

Aahana Kumra with Aninditaa Bose (R) in a still from ‘Rules of the Game’

Aahana Kumra with Aninditaa Bose (R) in a nonetheless from ‘Rules of the Game’
 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

However, with uncertainty over theatres nonetheless persevering with, OTT is more likely to appeal to the larger stars of the mainstream prior to later. It is a situation that Aahana is conscious of; the financial affect of COVID-19 forcing even the large spenders amongst OTT platforms to slash budgets has not escaped her discover.

“I think the pandemic has brought us to a stage where instead of moving one step forward, we have all had to take 10 steps back. At this point, it is either you take the job in the lesser budget and actually have a job, or sit at home without one,” she says.

“OTT space will be widely divided because we don’t know when it will be normal to go into theatres. Once the film actors enter, our jobs and our payscale will be affected. Opportunities are going to become less open because we have to make way for the biggest stars… unless we become one, but which you know is not an easy process,” she provides.



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