Vishal Rana: Stunned by Huma’s range of emotions

21 April,2024 03:51 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Upala KBR

Producer on how Qureshi’s performance elevates the messaging of women empowerment in Gulabi

A still from Gulabi

Continuing her trend of embracing diverse and impactful roles, Huma Qureshi, fresh off her portrayal of a politician in the third season of Maharani, is set to play an auto-rickshaw driver in the upcoming film Gulabi, directed by Vipul Mehta in a start-to-finish schedule, which began in April this year.

Producer Vishal Rana, who last produced the Taapsee Pannu-starrer Blurr, claims that with films like Gulabi, he hopes to pave the way for female actors to portray strong characters that speak about "women empowerment and education of the girl child". "The story is inspired by real-life incidents, not a particular person. Huma's character Gulabi, a brave auto-rickshaw driver in Ahmedabad, aspires to be educated. [In her journey of empowerment], she inspires others to get educated too," says Rana, adding, "As a producer, I believe in female-centric movies with a powerful female protagonist. I want the heroines of my movies to play women who stand against all odds and give back to society."

Vishal Rana

Qureshi's involvement in the project stems from her deep resonance with Gulabi's character and the film's theme. "Every actor looks for a role that they have never played before. When I approached Huma with the script, she told me that she loved the story and was excited about her character's journey," shares Rana, adding that the actor embodies Gulabi's strength and resilience with authenticity. He always believed that female actors were "stronger, self-controlled, and more disciplined than male actors," but witnessing it during a shoot with 500 people on set left him impressed. "We are shooting in live locations, with real people, in extremely hot and challenging conditions, but Huma, being our powerful hero, has been braving the weather and shooting for more than 12 hours a day without any complaints. Huma shot for a lengthy, powerful scene, and nailed it in one take. We were stunned by the range of her emotions as it moved us to tears."

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