Writer and director Gopi Puthran has had a fantastic journey in the film industry. He stepped into YRF as the writer of Lafangey Parindey, then turned assistant director for Mardaani and then graduated to become a director of Mardaani 2. And on the sixth anniversary of Mardaani, Gopi talks about the movie and more.
“The reason why (that's my speculation) Mardaani as a franchise resonated so much with the audience is because there is so much void and dearth of stories of women, which are sincerely told while tapping onto the correct insights of the problems and the journey of women. So, somewhere I think, Mardaani as a universe is tapping into the core of being a woman, especially in a patriarchal society. The themes that we have been dealing with in part 1 and 2, the struggle of maintaining one’s own identity in a world where you are constantly asked to compromise, that's something which we approached with so much sincerity,” he says.
Gopi adds, “I think this has somewhere put the point across to people and has resonated with the audiences. I think the sincerity of our themes and dealing with the issues that women face has clicked with the audiences and I hope we continue to do justice in the way we approach the themes in the subsequent parts that we'll hopefully be doing.”
In 2020, Gopi completes 10 years of his association with YRF, a journey he cherishes dearly. Gopi says, “It’s truly some karmic thing, some connection that I have with YRF and most importantly with Aditya Chopra. The ease with which, right from the first meeting, we connected creatively, I could freely argue with him if I felt strongly about some point. I could freely put my point across, even as a complete rookie and that for me is one of the special things about my relationship with Adi and YRF. From day 1, there was this relationship, respect which is such a rarity. Somehow he has never interfered or asked me that this is how you should do or I want it this way, this way it can be done/can’t be done any other way. This openness and nurturing is what has made me what I want to be here.”
Gopi shares an incredibly endearing relationship with Rani with whom he has weaved magic on celluloid through the Mardaani franchise. Gopi says, “Rani has actually given life and her soul to this character, Shivani Shivaji Roy. The way instinctively she added so much of depth, so much of gravitas to this character, is so satisfying, especially for a writer when you see that a star and an actor puts in so much of effort and instinct. She has made Shivani Shivaji Roy come alive.”