Thappad is writer Mrunmayee Lagoo's debut film. (Photo: Anubhav Sinha/Instagram)
One of the biggest learnings for writer Mrunmayee Lagoo from her debut film, Thappad, has been about the inclusion of male and female gaze while writing a character.
Lagoo, who is basking in the glory of her work in the Taapsee Pannu-led film even before its release, courtesy multiple private screenings across the country, spoke about working with a male director during a Q and A session after a screening in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
When indianexpress.com asked her if she and Anubhav Sinha had disagreements due to difference in their gaze, Mrunmayee Lagoo said, “This male and female gaze conversation has started recently. Especially when it’s a film with a woman protagonist, it comes up even more. We had a lot of arguments, but those were not because of the difference of opinions but about an aesthetic choice of how to do something.”
Mrunmayee Lagoo added that it was Anubhav Sinha’s male gaze that made Taapsee Pannu’s character Amrita “well rounded.” “For me, the learning was when he 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 of her. He saw her as someone who could be flawed as well,” she said.
Lagoo concluded, “Anubhav's different perspective was one of the biggest contributions of male gaze, which led to Amrita becoming 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 or a male protagonist, the character doesn’t reach any completion with just one gaze.”
Thappad, slated to release on February 28, is a pertinent commentary on the unchecked male entitlement. It also stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi, Kumud Mishra, Pavail Gulati and Dia Mirza.