Need both male, female gaze to create rounded characters: 'Thappad' co-writer Mrunmayee

Mumbai, Feb 26 (PTI) 'Thappad' co-writer Mrunmayee Lagoo says to create a humane character, it's important to have a balance of male and female gaze while writing the part.

Mrunmayee, who has teamed up with filmmaker Anubhav Sinha for the Taapsee Pannu-starrer, believes the conversation about male and female gaze has picked up steam in recent times.

'Specially, when it's a film with a woman protagonist, it comes up even more. We had a lot of arguments which were not because of a difference of opinions but about an aesthetic choice of how to do something,' Mrunmayee said.

The writer was speaking at a special screening of 'Thappad', attended by the cast and crew. The session was moderated by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

Mrunmayee said Anubhav, with his gaze, gave another dimension to Taapsee's lead character of Amrita.

'For me, the learning was, when Anubhav was handling Amrita's character on set, I was looking at her in a certain way, which was my informed thinking of how this kind of a woman should be. He had a different interesting view about her. He saw her as someone who could be flawed as well.' The writer said Anubhav's different perspective was 'one of the biggest contributions of male gaze.' 'For creating Amrita as a well rounded character, I feel whatever the gaze is, it's important for both male and female writers to be able to imagine it from both perspectives.

'Be it a female protagonist or a male, the character doesn't reach any completion with just one gaze,' she added.

'Thappad' features Taapsee playing an educated, upper middle-class woman who is forced to take stock of her relationship after being slapped by her husband.

Taapsee's character in the film is a housewife by choice and Anubhav said it was worth exploring to see how woman of today takes that decision. 'We also wanted to see housewives as not out of compulsion, some women can choose to be a housewife and be a happy one. People think if a woman is a housewife, she is deprived, which isn't the case,' he said.

The director said putting women on pedestal is also a trap by patriarchy.

'It is also a trap, this is a big fraud which has happened with women. Patriarchy has inflicted such immense fraud upon women. That you are goddess, you're on a pedestal, your tolerance limit is much more, it's your responsibility to save a house,' the filmmaker added.

'Thappad' is scheduled to release this Friday. PTI JUR SHD RB SHD