The subdued release of Dum Laga Ke Haisha, starring Ayushmann Khurana and debutante Bhumi Pednekar, might not have raked in the moolah, but the lead actress is definitely the centre of a lot of attention.
While having a not-so-heroine looking lead actress might not be a path breaking move, it is definitely a positive leap towards changing mindsets, one step at a time. But, there is a slight confusion too – are the makers of the film genuinely interested in making a feminist statement or is it, after all, an overriding joke. Raja Sen describes the film as, “A film with an overweight heroine that is, to a large extent, about that heroine’s weight, requires a finely sensitive balance. And while the film is perched loyally and well-intentionedly on Sandhya’s side, it still uses words about weight as insults — moti (fatty), saand (buffalo) — and also, sadly, leans on them for laughs.”
Earlier, Vidya Balan received rave reviews for gaining tyres as Silk Smitha in The Dirty Picture and for refusing to lose weight after the film and condone to the industry’s obsession with thin actresses. Bhumi Pednekar, on the other hand, has shed all her “baggage” now. A former casting assistant with YRF, Pednekar really does not think body weight is an issue – “”It is a positive change that talent is being appreciated more than the way you look. I strongly feel it is not about being beautiful but about feeling beautiful. Body size really doesn’t matter. Looking at the other girls, my contemporaries, who are also not size zero and yet doing well, motivates people like me. It is just nice to see the way films are changing. The way perception about actresses is changing”.
Let’s hope this girl has a successful run at the movies. If you have seen the film, you know who is picking up the Best Debutante awards next year.