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Karan Boolani: Had to enable them to show their vulnerability

Updated on: 15 September,2023 07:10 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Set to showcase a tale on female orgasms, Karan Boolani says surrounding himself with women enabled him to present an authentic film, Thank You For Coming

Karan Boolani: Had to enable them to show their vulnerability

Dolly Singh, Kusha Kapila, Bhumi Pednekar, Shibani Bedi, and Shehnaaz Gill

At the first instance, the thought of a male director helming a film about female orgasms may raise eyebrows. However, the situation doesn’t seem so baffling when one considers that director Karan Boolani was the only man in the all-women film. “I surround myself with women who are in touch with their emotions,” says Boolani of Thank You for Coming, which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week. “As a director, it was my job to create a safe space where they could be vulnerable, and show their vulnerability on screen. I had to make sure that I was not interfering in their process, but instead, protecting it,” he says.

The writers of the Bhumi Pednekar-starrer, comic Prashasti Singh and screenwriter Radhika Anand say Boolani helped them gain other people’s perspectives as well, which helped them pen a balanced story. “The endeavour was to find the truth in each scene. I know a little more about women now than I did before I made this film. A lot of situations that you’ll see in the film were inspired by real experiences, and the characters, by real people. During the casting process, [our aim was to find] actors who seemed familiar, and made us feel like they were like the people we know [in our personal lives]. Also, we needed them to have a sense of humour.”

Karan BoolaniKaran Boolani

Producer Rhea Kapoor had previously acknowledged that the film was an unlikely selection for the TIFF, but Boolani believes the “catchy” narrative opened doors for them. “It’s entertaining, funny, and is the story of every woman. We have kept it as real and relatable as possible. This story plays with a lot of emotions, and highlights important issues with a pinch of humour.” 

While the film has an ensemble cast, including Kusha Kapila, and Shehnaaz Gill, Boolani would have had to particularly choose his leading lady with scrutiny. “Bhumi is a great actor. Before the shoot, we did a lot of readings with the actors so they could understand their characters. Bhumi truly understood Kanika’s character, and that’s what translated on screen.”

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