Filmmaker Meghna Gulzar has stated that selecting the lead roles for her upcoming film ‘Chhapaak’ was not a cakewalk as she wanted to make it remarkable and leave a lasting imprint on the mind of viewers. The recently released trailer of the film has become the talk of the B-town and has received applauds from all corners. Chhapaak will feature the journey of Malti, an acid attack survivor, who’s being portrayed by Deepika Padukone. It’s based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal.
In a recent interview, the esteemed director said, “For me, it was important to take a face associated with beauty because when you distort it, like it would happen to a survivor, the contrast and impact is far stronger. Not everybody is Deepika Padukone, but these other girls were beautiful too and didn’t deserve this to happen to them. No girl deserves it going forward. I’m fortunate Deepika agreed to play the part.”
“During our research, we discovered that Laxmi Agarwal’s pictures before the attack are strikingly similar to Deepika’s when she was young. There is an uncanny similarity in their physicality which shows up in the prosthetics. That was my starting point. Then came the larger thought of the impact of the message which would get magnified with her in the lead as Malti (who is based on Laxmi). The idea wasn’t to make Deepika look like Laxmi, but to make her look like what she’d have looked, God forbid, if something like this happened to her. The essence of Deepika is still there, particularly in her eyes,” Meghna revealed regarding the use of prosthetics in the film.
The filmmaker also appreciated Deepika Padukone when she mentioned, “It takes courage to discard your calling card and bare yourself completely. When you are shorn of all the usual trappings— hair, make-up, costume, jewellery—with only your craft exposed, it’s a brave path to walk and Deepika has done it with flourish.”
When asked about her parents reactions to the film, who happen to be Gulzar and the celebrated lyricist and actress Rakhee, Meghna revealed, “Like always, I’d shared the script with him; he saw a preliminary version of the trailer and the off-line edit, and got all emotional and teary-eyed. For me, it’s hard to tell if his reaction was coming from the film or because I had made it. He can be terribly biased, but I’m happy my parents are proud of my work.” She further added, “My mother does not like to see a work in progress. She has just heard the songs and is waiting to watch the complete film. When the first copy comes out, that screening is hers.”
Chhapaak is set for a 2020 release and will hit the theatres on 10th January.