Gitanjali Rao Talks About Bollywood Shying Away From Telling Raw And Real Stories. We love Her Honesty.
If there is anything that I like more than Bollywood movies, it is animated features. From Finding Nemo to Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, a good animated movie shows us reality through rose-colored glasses. That is probably why I love them so much, it shows us that not everything black and white. Unfortunately, Indian cinema never caught up with the brilliance of animation. Even though we have Indian studios and artists working on international animation projects, there is a long way to go in terms of representation. The closest we have come to anything desi in animation is Prince Naveen from The Princess And The Frog.
But all that’s set to change since Gitanjali Rao’s animated feature Bombay Rose premiered at the MAMI Film Festival. The movie does not separate politics from the storyline, and we are thrilled someone is talking about issues other filmmakers generally keep hidden to have a safer approach. Also, it looks so beautiful, much like a dream might on a sleepy afternoon!
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Gitanjali Rao is definitely a visionary, she says that every character in a movie has their set of politics and is it important to use that to address social issues that have crippled our country. We agree with her since cinema is the largest tool, we have to spread awareness about various issues, including the ones that talk deal with politics that affect every person differently.
In an interview with HT, when she was asked if it was getting tougher for filmmakers to address social issues, given that now people are frequently getting more offended by films, she said, “All over the world, films are used to tell the audience what people want to say. No matter how great a country, every government has detractors and will always face criticism. I think it is the responsibility of all artists to speak about issues that are not being talked about. I am not talking about issues, my characters come with their issues and I have just made sure not to isolate them. Bollywood often conveniently takes away the politics of a person and tells the story. If I tell the story of a privileged person, his politics will be different from one who is not so privileged.” If more filmmakers used this tactic of developing characters with various political beliefs hailing from different walks of life, I think it can start a ripple effect change.
Bombay Rose, is a movie that does not shy away from depicting the truth about discrimination against minority religious groups. The storyline is about two youngsters who have migrated to Mumbai in search of a better life. They both sell flowers opposite Juhu beach and eventually fall in love. The boy is from Kashmir, he lost his parents in an insurgent attack and managed to flee from there. The girl, on the other hand, is from Madhya Pradesh, she escaped from a child marriage and migrated to Mumbai. Talking about the plot of the movie in the same interview, Geetanjali said, “It is about migrants in Mumbai who came to just find a living, not for Bollywood, not people who come there to become heroes. But I have used Bollywood …how it affects the characters.” I think this is going to be an amazing movie, it already is such a different take to animated movies. It is not a fairytale, that is for sure. It is about two people working hard for a living, finding true love and fighting tooth and nail to be together. A basic reflection of what unfortunately really happens in our society when it comes to inter-caste relationships. I am eagerly waiting for it to hit theaters!
Geetanjali also revealed that it took her six years to make this movie. She said that the first four years were spent solely in research and the next two went in preparing the screenplay and fixing the production. Bombay Rose premiered at the MAMI and the screening was attended by cinema experts like Ratna Pathak and Naseeruddin Shah. The movie also received an overwhelming response when it opened the Critics Week in Venice, as well as the film festivals in Toronto, London, and Busan. Aren’t you’ll super excited to watch this new-age animated feature as well? Check out the trailer: