'Madam Chief Minister' was a learning experience: Richa Chadha

Komal Panchamatia
·3-min read

Mumbai, Jan 16 (PTI) Actor Richa Chadha believes her upcoming film “Madam Chief Minister” is a story that needs to be told as it highlights the pertinent issue of caste-based discrimination.

Written and directed by Subhash Kapoor of 'Jolly LLB' fame, 'Madam Chief Minister' is a story of a young woman’s journey and growth in the world of politics.

The actor, known for her performance as ferocious Nagma Khatoon in “Gangs of Wasseypur”, a lady don Bholi Punjaban in “Fukrey” to a traumatized small town girl in “Masaan”, plays a Dalit leader in the movie.

“It is a story that needs to be told. It is an important story not just of caste (discrimination) but of a female leader, driving to the top in a male bastion,” Chadha told PTI in a Zoom interview.

“The script is full of twists and turns. I hope people remember this film as the one which challenges few ideas or things, like it is against discrimination. I want to trigger a conversation with this film,” she added.

The actor said she is grateful that she got the opportunity to play a strong and powerful character like Tara Roop Ram as essaying the role turned out to be a learning experience.

“There was a lot of learning for me in this film, primarily about privilege and caste and how much one is ruled by patriarchy and casteism.' The actor recalled shooting the film in and around Lucknow, and said she was surprised to see that people in Indian heartland are still governed by caste system.

'We live in cities and we don’t care what our neighbours caste is. But in villages the whole structure is around caste...That was a big learning for me,” she added.

Chadha said the fact that the story was told through a female protagonist acted as an added bonus for her as there are hardly any films made on women politicians.

“She is a tom boy and is interested in growing and being powerful. She is someone who comes from an oppressed background but that doesn't let that dim her spirit. I was excited to play a character that is so strong and brave she never once gives up in life.” The film is said to be loosely based on the life of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati.

The actor, however, said the film is not about a particular political personality.

She said as part of the preparation for the film, Kapoor had given her a bunch of books to read, including biography called “Amma”, based on J Jayalalithaa, “Behenji” on Mayawati and few others.

“This is story is a fictional account with elements resembling everybody's life and not just focused on one particular leader,” Chadha said, adding that she also undertook training in diction and accent as well as learned to ride a bike for the film.

Produced by T-Series and Kangra Talkies, the movie also featuring Manav Kaul, Saurabh Shukla, Akshay Oberoi will have a theatrical release on January 22. PTI KKP SHD SHD RB RB RB