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Atrangi Re writer Himanshu Sharma on claims film trivialises mental health: ‘I wasn’t making a documentary on mental illness’

Nationwide Award winner Himanshu Sharma responds to accusations that his newest movie directed by Aanand L Rai, Atrangi Re, trivialises psychological issues. The movie stars Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar. The writers says there may be extra to the ‘human story’ that’s Atrangi Re, explaining the way it ‘talks about love, loss, and trauma’. He additionally appealed for much less judgment and a deeper stare upon cinema, particularly from critics.

Excerpts from the interview:

What do it’s a must to say concerning the claims that Atrangi Re trivilaises psychological issues?

After I selected this story and this idea, I wasn’t making a documentary on psychological sickness. Understanding of human anatomy doesn’t assure that you just’ll perceive human beings. There’s a lot extra to the movie, to that story referred to as Atrangi Re, it talks about love, loss, and trauma, and the way trauma can create so many difficulties for you and the way love can repair all of these issues. In my head, I used  psychological difficulty as a instrument, a sugar-coating by which I’m telling you about even deeper issues. So, at instances whereas I used to be manoeuvring my manner, it doesn’t imply I’m not taking note of it or that I’m not being sincere in direction of it.

Please take a look at the characters within the movie, all of the characters, like Dhanush’s Vishu or his pal Madhu (performed by Ashish Verma), all of them have a lot sympathy for the woman. They’re coping with her with utmost sympathy. The concept is that it’s a must to see the movie for what it’s and never what you need it to be. It is very important see the deeper meanings.

I additionally really feel that there’s a shallow sort of gaze. At instances I really feel that the best way folks anticipate new tales from us, we as storytellers want new perspective to evaluation it. You’re previous and blunt to evaluation new tales, and that’s a disgrace, that’s coronary heart breaking. Nonetheless, 90% of the critiques that got here in, I used to be very proud of them. The appearance of know-how has modified the entire enterprise and the best way we seen viewers response, it has opened up all the pieces. After I got here, in 2005- 2006, it was a closed business. With digitisation, folks like us obtained an opportunity to make movies, with a digital digicam. Identical manner, proper now, I feel, we want a brand new set of eyes, a brand new set of reviewers to look at these new tales. As a result of, a minimum of, I’m carried out with this boring, banal and shallow reviewing of our tales. That’s all I’ve to say, that there was a lot extra within the story, in fact psychological sickness was additionally there, however that was not the one factor. And please perceive the thought of how symbolically the makers are utilizing it.

Each the characters, Vishu and Madhu, are medical doctors and convey the medical perspective there. Then shouldn’t we be extra cautious in addressing and presenting psychological ailments?

However that’s the manner folks would perceive it. I can’t be elite and too tutorial in my dialogue or the best way I’m presenting it. It has to succeed in the final man, sitting in a small village, making an attempt to grasp this movie. I’ve to talk of their language. I’ve to talk in a language that may attain n variety of folks. That’s the search of each filmmaker, that I ought to be capable to attain a lot of viewers, and I feel that is how I might have reached them, by making it that straightforward. Chances are you’ll say it trivialises the difficulty, however I might identical to to say that I used to be making an attempt to make these tough matters easy, in order that it may be accessible and might attain a bigger variety of folks.

You additionally have to see the intent of the folks. After all, no human being is ideal, neither am I, nor are you. We’ll make errors however it’s a must to see my intention. As I all the time say, the sort of good movies I watch and I need to make, I don’t assume I’m that clever. I will even must do extra laborious work, and that ought to be the search for everybody. I need to watch nice movies and I need to make these movies. In that course of, I’ll make a number of errors, however did you see my intent? I all the time imagine that details ought to by no means cease you or blind you from seeing the reality. There’s a distinction between fact and reality, please attempt discovering the reality in these tales, details are mere propaganda, agenda, a 500 phrase essay, it’s too tutorial. Movies, in the meantime, ought to communicate human language and that’s imperfect.

Throughout Raanjhanaa, folks felt he (Dhanush’s Kundan) is a stalker. However, have they been to colleges or not, or is all their schooling occurring by movies? And other than that, there’s a sure language that I can provide to that man. He can’t communicate like Shashi Tharoor, he’s a boy from Benares who has not even handed tenth customary. He can have a sure language, he will likely be politically incorrect, and I can’t assist it as a result of in any other case I’ll look pretend, that character will look pretend, it is not going to join. The concept will not be within the strains, the thought is to see the intent. There’s a lot judgement, for the longest time I haven’t seen folks watching a movie simply to look at a movie. We have to discover ways to see a movie with out judgement, to immerse within the story and to really feel it, search the deeper fact in any movie.

There are different points you will have touched within the movie however these didn’t get addressed correctly, like honour killing.

Once more, as I mentioned, I’m not making a documentary. It’s a story, and it isn’t like I made a decision to make a movie on psychological sickness or honour killing, it was by no means the intention. I’m a storyteller, and I’ve a narrative to inform. These points occurred to be there. I’m not making a flag or an agenda, or a propaganda, I’m making a narrative, and these few issues, all of it, will likely be there in it, in a roundabout way or the opposite, of their totally different quantity of dosage, they are going to be there, as you mentioned — sprinkled — it was throughout, however the factor is that the natural story will resolve and dictate how a lot will likely be what. Regardless of the story permits me will likely be on the forefront, all the pieces else will likely be within the background, as I’m utilizing them as instruments to inform my story, the larger fact, that I have to say.

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