Mrunal Thakur on how Batla House offers her a meaty part, despite being an actioner at its core
Mrunal Thakur Pic/ Instagram
Your first film decides how good or bad a performer you are," says Mrunal Thakur, who forayed into the movies with a de-glam role in Love Sonia (2018). She credits the Tabrez Noorani-directed venture for helping her land the big-ticket film, Batla House. "Nikkhil [Advani, director] saw the film at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2018 and loved my work. That's how I got this film. Commercial success is not the only sign of a good movie," she argues, hoping that the project — inspired by the 2008 Batla House encounter in Delhi — will "start an informed dialogue."
The two-film-old actor is unperturbed that both, Batla House and her last release Super 30, are driven by male protagonists. Asserting that the design of Hindi movies is rapidly changing, Thakur reasons, "I admire Pankaj Tripathi; no matter how many scenes he has, he will stand out. That is the mark of a great actor. It will take me some time to get a heroine-driven film. Priyanka Chopra took a while to get Fashion. Or Deepika [Padukone] to get Piku and Cocktail. At this point, when I am just starting off, every opportunity is a golden opportunity. To be able to work with seasoned actors like John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan is a big deal."
A still from Batla House
However, Thakur promptly adds that the narrative offers her a prominent character graph. She essays a journalist, modelled on Delhi Police Special Cell DSP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav's wife and journalist Shobhna Yadav. "I wouldn't have taken up the role if she was just a housewife. She is a crime journalist who needs to report the news where her husband is considered a murderer. The film offers a different take on journalism. When I met Shobhna Yadavji, she said I remind her of herself."