Filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor has struck gold with his latest offering titled Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. The film, which stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor, has touched open a never before done subject in Bollywood, transgender women. The director, fondly known as Gattu, reveals how he ended up choosing this unique subject.
“If you notice my filmography, I move into a totally new world with every new film I plan to make. For a filmmaker, diving into a new subject is like an expedition. I am not an expert in rock music, but I made Rock On!! I am not an expert of Gujarati culture, but I made Kai Po Che!. The idea of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui came to me in 2017 by Simran Sahni, which was about a trance character but nothing like the film you see today,” he shares.
Elaborating further, he adds, “After I finished Kedarnath, that idea stayed with me. I got my team of writers, met many trans people to understand where they come from. Mostly films on LGBTQ are made from the community that don’t get to start a conversation on a big screen. I wanted to present a story to stir a conversation.”
Abhishek is known to be a risk-taker. However, he was confident that his latest film’s bold and controversial subject line wouldn’t deter family audiences from watching it. “By the time I had digested this idea and done my research, I wanted family audiences to come out and talk about the taboo issue. The attempt was to open that door and start a conversation around it. I believe you have to feel normal to tell people it’s normal. I am not targeting family but society at large. These are the issues that need to be addressed. There are minorities in society who have no voice. The gay community is understood and accepted but not the trans community,” he explains.
He then speaks about the casting process of the film. Ayushmann and Vaani are garnering praises for their performance in the film. “The casting process for my films start when I finish writing it. There are so many options to cast these days, but Ayushmann is a champion of social issue films. He has done films on homosexuality, baldness, erectile dysfunction etc., but this was a long jump for him too. It is also a very brave move for Vaani to pick this role since actresses don’t touch anything that stigmatise their image,” he concludes.
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