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Shefali Shah: Unfair to undermine viewers’ intelligence

Updated on: 03 August,2022 07:16 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Uma Ramasubramanian |

Noting that chemistry and sharp writing are key to dark comedies, Shefali Shah says Darlings is among the few Hindi films that don’t spoon-feed the audience

Shefali Shah: Unfair to undermine viewers’ intelligence

Shefali Shah

She opened the year with the intense medical drama, Human, following it up with the gripping Jalsa. It’s time for Shefali Shah to mix it up as she attempts a dark comedy with the Netflix offering, Darlings. The actor teams up with Alia Bhatt to tell the story of a mother-daughter duo who, in their unconventional way, fight domestic violence. She believes the success of such a quirky film depends as much on the actors’ chemistry as on its sharp writing. “It’s written very well. That said, even if you have two good actors, but there is no chemistry between them, [the humour] won’t translate. I don’t think you can work on chemistry; it is organic. With Alia, it was easy because we were on the same page,” says Shah.

Also Read: Darlings Teaser: Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah promise a dark, twisted thriller

A still from the filmA still from the film

In her directorial debut, Jasmeet K Reen has crafted female characters that remain undeterred by the unfavourable circumstances, and exercise their agency. When Bhatt’s character Badrunissa abducts her husband to avenge the years of suffering at his hands, her mother — essayed by Shah — supports her unflinchingly. It was her character’s courage that drew Shah to the role. “I love her. She means everything that she says, and I love her [fierce attitude] towards life.”

Dark comedies have rarely been explored in Hindi cinema. The lack of good satires, she argues, is more telling of filmmakers’ fear of experimentation than of the audience’s taste. “It’s unfair to undermine viewers’ intelligence. We don’t need to spoon-feed them. They understand and pick up on the smallest things.”

Also Read: Shefali Shah: Makers saw me in lead roles after Delhi Crime

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