Richa Chadha on Madam Chief Minister: Why am I Being Set to a Higher Standard?

Devasheesh Pandey
·2-min read

Richa Chadha is one of the lucky ones to see her second film releasing in theaters amid the coronavirus scare. After Shakeela, Madam Chief Minister arrives on January 22.

She plays the role of a girl from an oppressed community, who, after accidentally entering the world of student politics, rises up the ranks and becomes Chief Minister of a state. How a reformist moulds her and what changes occur in her life also form the part of the narrative.

About the kind of reaction she is expecting, Richa says, "It is a very different film for me. I hope people are able to engage with it and find it entertaining. It's been made keeping a commercial point-of-view in mind. If there is a message in the story, if people feel it is an attack on the caste system or oppression of a gender, then it will be a bonus for us."

Madam Chief Minister has also become a hot topic of discussion for those seeking representation of marginalised communities, both on and off camera, in projects that concern them directly.

Richa compares her movie with those that preceded it and says, "I did not see the same outrage or criticism when my colleagues play someone from an underprivileged background or a certain community. Why am I being set to a higher standard?"

To those questioning the choice of cast and representation in her film, Richa says, "Who are these people trying to police an individual's choice about what you can wear or cannot? You can't wear an Ambedkar T-shirt but people can happily carry his posters during protests and at that time it is not termed as appropriation. This film is a learning process for me and it is an ongoing one. By shaming me, it isn't like I can learn any faster."

Directed by Subhash Kapoor, Madam Chief Minister has been shot in Lucknow. It also stars Akshay Oberoi, Manav Kaul and Saurabh Shukla.