Meghna Gulzar on ‘Chhapaak’ And The Lessons Laxmi Taught Her

Watch Meghna talk about the difficult moments of Chhapaak.

2 min read

Meghna Gulzar, the director of critically acclaimed films like Raazi and Talvaar, is coming back to the big screen with Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey to tell the story of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Chaapaak hits screens on 10 January. Talking to The Quint, Meghna tells us about her experience.

Speaking about why she made the film and if she has a special message for her audiences, she says:

“I don’t have a focussed message as such and even if I do, I don’t want to make that a precursor for my audience. I don’t like doing that. As a person I don’t like being told how to feel and what to think and I’d like to give that to the audience as well as a filmmaker.”
Meghna Gulzar

On the title of the film, she said:

“Originally the script was titled ‘Gandhak’, which is the Hindi name for sulphuric acid. I realised that ‘Gandhak’ may not lend itself very nicely to songs, to lyrics, and so then I thought of ‘Chhapaak’ and chhapaak is a very lyrical word in itself and the idea of splashing can be one which is very romantic, very poetic, but when that splash is one of acid, it is extremely violent. The power of that irony is what drew me to this word.”
Meghna Gulzar

On Deepika’s first look as the character:

“There is a very striking resemblance between Deepika and Laxmi inherently. The prosthetics only amplified that resemblance. So it was surreal to see that. I clearly remember that moment. I have pictures of that day. We did the prosthetic test at my home. Suddenly, it was very gratifying that your instinct worked out.” 
Meghna Gulzar

On working with Vikrant Massey he said:

“Vikrant is an actor that I admire tremendously. From the time that I saw ‘Death in the Gunj’. And the desire to work with him has been there for a while. When this character came into being Amol, a North Indian boy, an activist, slightly disgruntled, and yet with a gooey core inside, waiting to be found. Somehow Vikrant just fit in. And that’s what happens with me as a director, it’s that all my decisions are extremely instinctive.”
Meghna Gulzar

Chhapaak hits theatres on 10 January.

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