The box-office success of 'Queen', 'Piku' and 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' may point towards an increase in acceptance of female-centric films, but director Aanand L Rai says such movies, though few and far between, always did well.
Aanand L Rai
The director, known for his opinionated and headstrong female characters be it Raanjhanaa's Zoya or Tanu Weds Manu's Tanuja and now her lookalike Datto, said viewers were always receptive to such stories, it is just that filmmakers stopped making them.
"I think we have started believing in our audience now. We have always underestimated them. Such movies were always there be it 'Mother India','Chalbaaz' or 'Chandni Bar'. We don't make such stories but whenever we do, they are successful. The audience want to watch a good story. You need to tell it properly," Rai told PTI.
Though actresses in Rai's films have equal screen space as their male counterparts, the director said he does not do it consciously.
"I tell a story... If I start thinking that I have to bring equality between male and female characters in my films then it means I am actually not considering them equal. Women are equal to men and there should be no debate over this. I know there are problems but they are everywhere. We just have to get together, protect our society and see women in correct light," he said.
For his latest Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan starrer, Rai traveled to Haryana as the actress played a young Haryanvi girl studying in Delhi University and the director was amazed to see the confidence and spirit of women there.
"They are very confident. We look at them from here and think that they are poor and helpless but they're fighting... In fact, they have fought most of their battles without anyone doing anything for them. They have a great sense of humour.
They will make you laugh. I captured that spirit and put it in Kangana's role," he said.