Filmmakers often tread with caution when dealing with controversial subjects, only a rare sect dares to break from tradition. One such filmmaker to boldly speak his mind is Onir, the maker of My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal and Sorry Bhai! Onir’s next titled I Am, is a social ‘eye opener’ slated to release on April 29. The film based on true stories, consisting of four short films put together, unfolds the appalling tales of individuals struggling to find themselves in an unforgiving cold heartless world. The film is a fusion of four characters sharing a common vision, to get their lives back which are interlinked to each other.
The eccentrically graceful Nandita Das plays one of the protagonists of the film, Afia, a single woman who feels that the only way to find her identity is through experiencing the joys of motherhood. Her life however is defined by the eternal question – does maternity really need a man? Bollywood Hungama brings to you an exclusive candid interview with Nandita talking about her character, working with Onir and the film, I Am.
“Even if I wasn’t pregnant, I would have definitely related to the character”
Afia was keener to being a mother than I was at that time. I think you don’t need to go through every experience to relate to a character, if you can empathize with the character’s journey and with her emotions and see what she is feeling and why she is feeling it. I’ve done roles where my characters have been rape victims, HIV positive people, and even a lesbian woman.
“It was more of conflict that whether I have made the right choice to embark on a journey that I can really handle?”
I was a little apprehensive that my little bump would show, but Onir promised that it wouldn’t. The reason I connected with Afia was because, I don’t think that had much to do about me being a mother. But just the fact that in our society, do we have enough to make the choices that we want? Afia wanted to make the choice of being a mother, and I think that’s not too much to ask for. With her wanting it in a certain way that doesn’t harm anybody, and still gets so much opposition from friends, family and society at large with her own conditioning and dilemma that she went through.
“Being a mother of an 8 month old baby is one of the most beautiful and delightful journeys”
Now looking back, I feel that Afia has all the right in the world of wanting to be a mother. Out of all the stories, Onir has taken this at the very core of it. I think these are very simple stories yet, why does our society complicate thing so much and make it so difficult for people to make those personal choices? I think it’s a very poignant film and I think everybody will relate to it. Maybe a lot of people will feel uncomfortable, but I think that will begin a dialogue and some soul searching in all of us and that’s why without hesitating all of us are supporting I Am.