With two major films about female heroes Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak and Ashwiny IyerTiwari’s Panga, under-performing at the boxoffice, all eyes are on Anubhav Sinha’s Thappadwhich opens at the end of February. It features Tapsee Pannu playing the hero. She had scored resounding successes as the hero on films like Pink, Saandh Ki Aankh and Badlaa.Would she able to turn the disturbing tide of women in the lead not doing well at the boxoffice this year?
Anubhav Sinha who directs Thappad feels it’s not about gender. “The audience doesn’t care whether a man or a woman directs any film. They just have to connect with the theme and characters. Then the film works. Otherwise it doesn’t.”
Anubhav feels well-made film are a genre of their own. “It’s not about the gender of the director. Or whether it stars a male or a female hero. It’s just got to be a good film.”
But then Meghna Gulzar and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari are exceptional filmmakers, and DeepikaPadukone and Kangana Ranaut are huge stars. It is explicable why they were rejected by the audience.
Trade experts who wish to remain unnamed say a strong women-oriented subject needs the support of big male actors to get the audience interested.
This is why Sanjay Leela Bhansali is keen to get Ajay Devgan on board in his Alia-helmed Gangubai Kathiawadi. Devgan’s is a powerful cameo designed to prop up Alia Bhatt’s central performance as a gangster.
Making the brains behind Gangubai even more jittery is the fact that films about female gangsters have never worked at the boxoffice in the past, be it Dimple Kapadia in MeraShikar,Amrita Singh in Khoon Baha Ganga Mein, Shabana Azmi in Godmother or KanganaRanaut in Revolver Rani.
Will Alia Bhatt who has scored a resounding hit in an author-backed role in Raazi ,break the jinx?