'Sexy Durga' poster
Actress Rajshri Deshpande says her upcoming film "Sexy Durga" does not have any connection with religious ideologies and merely talks about the issues women face in today's world.
Malayalam independent filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's "Sexy Durga" bagged the top honour, the Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam recently.
The film, however, faced controversy when the director wrote in a Facebook post that he was being threatened because of the title.
"There is no connection with the Goddess. The girl's name (in the film) is Durga. But it's not about the name, it's about the mentality we are trying to show in the film. That's what is more important than any other religious thing," Rajshri told PTI.
"It is a universal subject. It is not about a particular religion, or any area specific. The issue of women's safety and what all she goes through is relevant everywhere," she added.
"Sexy Durga" is a road movie that follows the horrifying experience of two hitchhikers, a man and a woman, at the hands of two men, in the dead of the night.
It explores the threat of violence faced by a young couple and reflects the collective attitude of the men towards woman.
Rajshri, who plays the titular role in the film, says people who have taken offense should watch the film and understand that it is trying to address an issue and not rake up any controversy.
"I feel very bad with what's happening. They should watch it first before jumping the gun. People are telling me that I am a Brahmin so I shouldn't do a film like that. When I told my mother, she was a little worried but she loved the title. She said it's a very strong, apt title for this project."
The actress, who also featured in the critically acclaimed "Angry Indian Goddesses", says the film was shot in 20 days flat and the role was such that it left her "emotionally drained."
Now, Rajshri hopes the movie gets a theatrical release in India so that it reaches a wider audience.
"I really hope influential people from the industry come forward and support the film. Unfortunately, without them releasing a film like this is very difficult. Though this is by a director based in Kerala it doesn't mean it should release only there."