Rani’s Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, produced by Nikkhil and Monisha Advani, directed by Ashima Chibber (who has earlier directed the ho-hum Mere Dad Ki Maruti in 2013 for Yash Raj Films) and Nandita Das’ Zwigato produced by Applause Entertainment, are both far removed from how mainstream entertainment is defined.
Rani in fact recommended the director Ashima Chibber to the producers; the whole project materialized almost entirely on the actress’ recommendation. More empowered actresses need to back non-traditional projects for them to acquire a mainstream sanctity.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if Madhuri Dixit surrendered herself to the Madhubala biopic the way Rani did to Mrs Chatterjee?
Rani as Mrs Chatterjee is a force of nature, worthy of every award for Best Actress. It is surprising to observe how most critics have missed the point of Rani’s performance. When in fact it is not Rani but HER CHARACTER that is restless.
In our country, most critics mistake the character to be the performance. Until that changes we will always judge the emotionally demonstrative performances as ham.
In contrast Nandita Das’s Zwigato validates all its protagonist’s emotions in subtle shades. Ratna Pathak Shah spoke recently about mainstream Indian films like RRR lacking in nuances. You want nuances? Watch Zwigato. There are no emotional outbursts, no moments of manifested epiphany even when Kapil Sharma’s character loses his job.
A major filmmaker wonders why the ticket-going public would pay money to watch Kapil Sharma in theatres when they get him for free every weekend.
To this line of strange reasoning, let us counter-argue with the case of Jennifer Aniston and Sushant Singh Rajput. Both were seen on television for years before they moved to the big screen to become superstars in their own right.
Kapil Sharma’s fan-base on the home-viewing medium want to see what he has done in Zwigato. And they won’t be disappointed. Also it should be noted that Nandita Das’ cinema is not designed for mass consumption. It is improbable that Zwigato is looking for the audience that made Pathaan a global blockbuster.
With Rani Mukerji and Nandita Das reaching out to a specific audience it is up to that audience to give the two films this week the success they deserve.