Deepti Naval directing a controversial movie With films like Chashme Baddor, Saath Saath, Katha and Main Zinda Hoon in her kitty, Deepti Naval has registered her presence among the cine lovers. Known for her expertise in sensitive art films, Deepti Naval has also managed to draw the attention of the critics. Starting her second innings in films with Freaky Chakra, Deepti will be seen in yet another controversial and sensitive film. Hear it from the lady herself.
Tell us something about the film Rivaaz.
At many places in our country, prostitution is followed like a custom. Fathers and brothers sell off their daughters, wives or sisters at a very young age in return for a lump some amount. It is their only profession. This is an extremely controversial subject and we have made this film on this subject. The truth that has been revealed through the movie will shake a person from inside and will force him to think seriously about the customs that still prevail in our society. It is not a film it is a depiction of the bitter truth of our society.
Will you be taking any action now that you have known this truth?
I'm not a social worker that I will go and visit villages all across the country and inform women about such things. As an actress, I would want to be a part of such films. I have also done 'Kamla' and 'Bawander', which were also based on sensitive subjects. It is my privilege to work in such films even though I do not get good pay for them.
Were you totally unaware of this truth when the script was read to you?
No, this is not true. Though I had been to many villages before, but I had never been to one where all the women were engaged in prostitution. I had heard of this custom when I was in Singapore, but never believed it. When I came back to India, these things were presented to me in the form of facts and figures collected by UNICEF. This goes to show that we do not know country well enough till today.
Your next film Kaaran is also similar to this film.
Yes Kaaran is also based on prostitution, but it brings out the 'devdasi' custom in our country, which is still accepted n many places. However, the story of Rivaaz is something which is unbelievable, but true. In 'Kaaran' I have a cameo.
Do you think that this small budget movie will be able to attract audiences in the metros?
Yes, it will. To make the film interesting we have shown a love-story and also added a commercial element to it.
You are directing a film. Will that be based on such subjects?
That film will not be based on any subject. Rather it will be on intimate relationships. It will be controversial.
Is this the same film in which you had reportedly cast Madhuri Dixit?
(Amazed) I do not know anything about that. I'm still working on the story. I had once told a reporter that the actress who will suit the character in my film would be like Madhuri Dixit. I want an actress who has a personality and is mature like Maduri. I had said nothing about casting Madhuri.
Once again you are working with Sai Paranjpay...
I'm waiting impatiently to work with her. I do not know much about the film, but I had agreed on doing the film because Sai was directing it. I don't care if she narrates the story to me later or not, I have blind faith on her.
Your films were screened at the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival...
Yes, some of the films which were screened at the festival are close to my heart. 'Ankahi', 'Ek Baar Phir', 'Kamala' and 'Main Zinda Hoon' were the few films screened there. I was very happy.
What do you have to say about remakes?
See, nothing can be compared to the original thought and the effort put in a film. The films should be a mirror of the society and then only will the purpose be served. Many filmmakers try to say a lot of things, so they copy the English or the French films. But it should be remembered that these films should be made keeping in mind our social obligations. Sometimes the end result can be good.
If you were to remake a film, which would be it?
A: I will never remake a film. There have been many incidents in my life on which I can make films. So why should I remake one film?