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Deepika’s First Look In The Chhapaak Poster Is A Tamer Version of Laxmi And We Don’t Approve

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It’s been a hard hitting Monday morning for us today. Mainly because Director Meghna Gulzar’s upcoming movie Chhapaak released Deepika Padukone’s first look for the role of the acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, upon who the movie is based and we honestly feel a little shaken up.

Deepika Padukone, who plays the character of Malti in the movie, shared the look by posting on Instagram a photo of her look as Malti with the caption, “A character that will stay with me forever… Malti. Shoot begins today! Chhapaak!”

We love that the actress for taking on such a critical role of an acid attack survivor, but then as that piece of information settled in, so did an odd realisation. That Deepika Padukone did look like Laxmi but a more ‘pleasing’ version of her. She in fact, looked like a beautified version of the survivor, one that is easier to look at in comparison to how it is actually was. And while all others are praises, ours is more of an eyebrow raise.

When you google images of the brave Laxmi Agarwal on the internet, you will understand where we are coming from. The real image in itself is so hard-hitting that you for a moment, you won’t be able to relate it to how Deepika has been made to look. And that makes us wonder why the movie makers thought to tame it down? Was it so the movie becomes aesthetically pleasing or perhaps to make the audience a little more comfortable to be able to see the brazen reality? But isn’t doing that taking away the very point these movies claim to make? We actually hoped it would makes us uncomfortable. Because it is when this happens that we, as a society, are forced to face the harsh questions that plague us.

While we do not argue with the fact that Deepika here is an ace actress who looks good while doing anything and everything, this one was clearly not about that. This was supposed to do more with doing justice to the role, and we feel that maybe for an important and sensitive movie such as this, the directors could’ve considered casting a real survivor and not dilute the severity or the message they’re trying to give. Of course, that might not bring in the big monies but it was worth a shot.

For a creative industry, guess there is only that much risk  Bollywood is willing to take when depicting a real life story. Let’s hope the movie isn’t as subdued as the first look!

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