Pradeep Sarkar on Arranged Marriage: Ran the story by my children
Director Pradeep Sarkar on how his kids became a sounding board as he dealt with the sensitive subject of same-sex love in his short film
Filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar has brought to fore a modern-day love story with his short film, Arranged Marriage, which forms a part of the Zee5 anthology, Forbidden Love. In telling the story of Neil, who unable to come out of the closet, marries a woman of his parents' choice to appease them, the director has put the spotlight on same-sex love and how our society is, unfortunately, a long way from embracing homosexuality.
"Homosexuality is no longer taboo. But the problem lies with how we treat members of the LGBTQi community. Some of us are unsure of how we should even interact with them. The film also deals with black magic and other superstitious beliefs, which have a huge role to play [in stigmatising homosexuality]," says Sarkar.
Given the delicate nature of the subject, the director knew that the Ali Fazal, Patralekhaa and Omkar Kapoor-starrer had to be treated with sensitivity. He reveals that he found the perfect sounding board in his children. "My children belong to the current generation. So, I ran the story by them to understand if we are successfully [driving the message home]. While the writer [Sonal Sehgal] did extensive research, I had to be careful and sensitive in depicting the reality."
The director is impressed with leading man Fazal whom he considers "an effortless actor". "He never goes over the top with his performance, even in the most dramatic scenes, preferring to keep it subtle and refined." Although the director would have preferred a theatrical outing for the film, ensuring that the message reaches a wider audience, he understands that the proposition would have come with restrictions. "I have depicted a few things in the film, which would have been out of the question on the big screen. But for a larger purpose, a big-screen release would have made sense," he thinks.
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