Urvashi Rautela, last seen frolicking as a seductive ghost in Anees Bazmi’s , ha ha, comedy Pagalpanti now shoulders the responsibility of playing the hero in Virgin Bhanupriya which releases on the digital domain on 16 July.
In this eyebrow-raising film Urvashi plays a 30-year woman determined to lose her virginity.
Ms Rautela insists Virgin Bhanupriya is a family film. “Actually it is her friend who urging her on to lose her virginity, to go find a man in her life. After a certain age there is a lot of pressure to find a man. I related to Bhanupriya on many levels—her straightforwardness, her simplicity , her love for her parents…But I didn’t quite connect with her method of finding a partner for herself. That whole experience was a bit…strange to me!”
She is proud to be in a film that evokes laughter from the issue of virginity. “I just came to know that Virgin Bhanupriya is the first comedy on the OTT platform with a female hero in the lead. We’ve seen so many films where the male hero addresses sexual themes, like we had Ayushmann Khurrana tackling sperm donation in Vicky Donor and homosexuality in Shubh Mangal Savdhan.Akshay Kumar Sir did a film on the menstrual cycle Padman. Virginity has been stigmatized by our society for the longest time. If you are a virgin after a certain age there will be people around you bullying, mocking, pitying you. Bhanupriya faces all of that. ‘Tera kuch nahin hoga,tu hamesha virgin hi rahegi’. Such comments kill your selfesteem. If rebuked in this way a girl begins to believe there’s something wrong with her.She wants to be like other girls. I would call her a victim of peer pressure.”
Urvashi insists her film is for the entire family. “There is nothing vulgar crass. Yes, we are handling a sensitive subject. Vicky Donor was about sperm donation. But it wasn’t vulgar. The same goes for our film.”
About promoting the film from home Urvashi is not the least dispirited. “It’s quite a novel experience. I never thought I’d be promoting one of my films virtually.And you know what? I’m quite enjoying the experience! I now realize how much of time, energy and money is wasted running here and there from city to city…I still feel the quality of video communication can improve. Having said that it is such a relief to not have to dress up and go out there to market film…The whole process of getting ready for each event would take more than two hours. So that’s so much of time saved.All that expenditure on going to parties, maintaining airport looks has now been eliminated and now here I am promoting the film from home!”
Urvashi has been apparently paid Rs 7 crores for Virgin Bhanupriya.She dodges the remuneration issue saying, “I wouldn’t like to discuss my pay. I am just happy to be in a female-centric film. Every heroine wants to play the central role. Producers put a responsibility on my shoulders.And that does make me anxious, but in a good way.”
Any regrets about her film coming on the OTT platform? “None at all. It is the need of the hour. A good film will be appreciated on any platform.My film will be shown in 200 countries simultaneously. After the trailer I got messages from Turkey and Portugal.”
Future plans? “This lockdown has taught us all to slow down, to re-assess our lives and to value what is worth value.Also, not to plan too far ahead.We are going through a terrible crisis. Maharashtra has nearly 50 percent of the total Corona cases in India. 2020 is about health, not wealth. Kisi terah se jaan bachao aur 2021 mein pahunch jao. That’s what really matters right now.”