‘The idea for this film came from Sonakshi and Huma.’
After taking on a bold topic about contraceptives in Helmet, Director Satram Ramani moves on to another important issue. This time, it’s about Plus-Size women.
Double XL stars Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha, and attempts to give a message along with the entertainment.
Satram tells Patcy N/Rediff.com “If you see a Plus-Size person in a group of people, they themselves will feel insecure because we are looking at them with judgement. We have to normalise that.”
Why did you decide to make a film on Plus-Size women?
This story came to me and it was quite relatable.
It’s about how two Plus-Size women’s weight is an obstruction to their dreams.
I believe your dreams don’t need any specification in terms of how you look.
It is your capabilities, not about your size and shape.
Mudassar Aziz approached you with the story?
Yes. He saw the rough cut of Helmet before the release and liked it.
We met casually a couple of times and then he said, I want to narrate a story to you.
He told me he wanted me to direct it because ‘you say stories that are high on concept and issue-based’. Within 15 minutes, we were on.
Usually, oversized heroines are not taken in lead roles. We Indians have a notion that the lead actress should be slim. Did you ever consider the risks of taking such characters?
My last film Helmet was a risky film.
People shy away from talking about contraceptives, but I wanted to show that film because it had a core message.
I want to clear the misconception that I want to narrate a story that says size and shape doesn’t matter.
By God’s grace, things are changing now.
Nowadays, you feel more about the characters than how they look and their complexion.
Yes, it is risky, but the story is interesting.
I always bet my money on the stories, more than anything else.
The trailer has received positive feedback, as women find it relatable.
We are all aware that body-shaming and fat shaming exists in our day-to-day life.
We don’t focus much on it; we have habituated with it.
This film raises that topic, and that is why people are giving positive feedback.
I feel cinema has more impact when it comes to storytelling, and these subjects are now getting accepted in our industry.
The whole idea is to give a message with entertainment.
What is your personal opinion about Plus-Size women and their problems?
If you see a Plus-Size person in a group of people, they themselves feel insecure because we are looking at them with judgement. We have to normalise that.
In this movie, we aren’t judging them.
We aren’t seeing that they are Plus-Size. We are looking at their capabilities and nature.
What kind of research went into writing this film? How did the two male writers and a male director understand the problems that women are facing?
The idea for this film came from Sonakshi and Huma.
They were at a social gathering, and food was served.
Initially, they were reluctant, but later, they were like, we just want to eat whatever we want.
Mudassar observed that and at that very moment, he decided to make a film about these two girls.
These girls face so many problems in their day-to-day life, so why not make a film on them?
He asked them if he could write a film on them, and they immediately said yes.
Body-shaming should not be gender biased, but we see women being targeted. Why do you think so?
Unfortunately, in our country, women have to go through a lot of things.
Not just body shaming, but other aspects like their independence or their ambitions…
In small towns, when you are getting married, you have to be prepared that the guy who is going to see you is also going see your size and thing will be approved on that basis.
But what the girl is going to do doesn’t matter to anyone.
Things have started changing slightly.
Don’t Miss Part 2 of this conversation coming up soon!
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