Radhika, who has a release in Forensic, discusses losing out on movies and navigating the gender-skewed industry
A still from the film
During the narration of Forensic, Radhika Apte was relieved to notice that the film was not dumbed down, as some Indian movies tend to be. Director Vishal Furia’s thriller expected the audience to keep up with its pace. This was among the many reasons that made her say yes to it. “In India, we spoon-feed the audience a lot. Everything is explained in a flash cut, almost as if to say that in case you have forgotten, here it is again. I think the audiences are smarter than these [filmmakers] who think they won’t get it. If the audience is not liking your film, it’s not because they don’t get it; it’s probably because it’s boring,” laughs Apte. She plays a cop investigating a series of murders in the ZEE5 film, which is a remake of the 2020 Malayalam film of the same name.
Her 17-year run has proved that the actor has no patience for run-of-the-mill offerings; she is the happiest when telling powerful stories. However, it hasn’t been an easy journey. “In the past decade, I have done a lot of work that didn’t exactly blow my mind. I did everything I was told in order to get commercial viability. That way, I could do all those small films that I wanted to do.”
Even as the industry is inching towards gender equality, Apte notes that there is a long way to go. She points out that she has sometimes been rejected for projects on grounds that ranged from bizarre to downright sexist. “I recently got rejected because the other actor had bigger lips and bigger breasts. I was told, ‘She looks sexier, and sells more’. It was a good film being made by people whom I respect. You look up to [certain people], and think, ‘They won’t be into this’. But they also [have such a mindset]. Hopefully, the more women we have in [positions of power], the more things will change.”