A still from Dahaad
What does Reema Kagti seek from her projects? Not necessarily the audience's validation. All she hopes is that people understand the intent behind her creations. With Dahaad, the creator-director has experienced the satisfaction of people acknowledging the truths she wanted to highlight. The trailer may have made one believe that the Sonakshi Sinha and Vijay Varma-starrer revolves around the cat-and-mouse chase between a fierce woman cop and a serial killer. But what makes it a winner is how effectively it delves into themes of gender violence, patriarchy and casteism.
"Whether it's the case or the caste politics, we took most of it from newspapers. We wanted to tell a bigger story that examines the socio-cultural situations," says Kagti, who shared the directorial responsibilities with Ruchika Oberoi. Through the Amazon Prime Video series' protagonist and the multiple murders, Kagti put the social ill of casteism front and centre. She was certain about making her stand clear on issues that people may be reluctant to address. "Many in this country are in denial of what is happening. Those who believe the caste system doesn't exist, are privileged. It should be addressed because cinema has the power to make us think," she asserts.
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But wasn't she apprehensive about tackling the subject of inter-faith marriage in the current political climate? "If your intent is good, you are okay. I have shown one inter-faith marriage, where the woman wants to do it. I'm not making a statement about anything else. I'm not saying the reverse doesn't exist. In inter-faith marriages, the narrative that's coming up is that you are taking [away the] agency of a woman. I couldn't do Dahaad without getting into it."