Saturday November 16, 2019

Actress Richa Chadha Looks at The #MeToo Movement Positively

The promotional calendar, featuring Richa in 12 avatars, is themed on the 1990s' pulp films

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Richa Chadha
Instead of trial by media, it should be trial by law: Richa Chadha on #MeToo. Flickr

Actress Richa Chadha, who is proud to portray a brave character like Shakeela on the big screen, looks at the #MeToo movement positively. She believes the movement should have a trial by law that can bring the truth to the fore.

The most recent name to have emerged in the #MeToo wave is that of filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman assistant.

On her opinion on the movement, Richa Chadha told the media here: “I am happy that this movement took place and it is important to the cause of it. However, I feel that instead of the #MeToo movement being more about trial by media, it should be more trial by law, which is what will bring the truth to the cause.

“Instead of rumours, I feel it’s more important to understand the actual cases and bring justice to them.”

The actress was present along with “Shakeela” director Indrajit Lankesh for the launch of a quirky calendar here on Thursday night.

Richa
Richa Chadha at an event, IANS

The film is based on the life of bold south Indian actress Shakeela who gained popularity in the 1990s by acting in Telugu and Malayalam films.

Richa said: “When I first heard the story and when Indrajit told me about the script, I was amazed to know how cinematic her life is. She is an unapologetic person who never apologized for her choices. She empowered herself and did things in a business which was largely male-dominated back then.

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“‘Shakeela’ is a story deserving to be told. I am fascinated by her and her story. We talk about issues like women empowerment, gender discrimination and #MeToo today. Shakeela has seen and witnessed this years ago. And she bravely stood up for each of these things during her time which was way early in those days. And she has lived an unapologetic life. Her career choices was always about why should I be ashamed to do my work.”

The promotional calendar, featuring Richa in 12 avatars, is themed on the 1990s’ pulp films.

Richa Chadha said: “The idea of the calendar was to create something that was tongue-in-cheek and equally funny. It is a homage to those pulp films of the 1990s. These posters have been intricately thought through with the intention of invoking a funny reaction from the audiences. I hope people get the humour in all of this. It’s a fun concept and the calendar is something that works well for the film.” (IANS)

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Social Media Tends to Scrutinize Female Stars More Than Male Stars, Says Richa Chadha

Actress Richa Chadha, known for her opinions, says she has observed how, at times, mainstream and social media tend to scrutinise female stars more

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Although she was criticised by a section of the media in her initial days, she holds all her critics in high regard. Pixabay

Actress Richa Chadha, who is known to be vocal with her opinions, says she has observed how, at times, mainstream and social media tend to scrutinise female stars more than male stars. Although she was criticised by a section of the media in her initial days, she holds all her critics in high regard.

Richa told IANS: “Mainstream media as well as social media tends to be unfair towards female stars, and female stars get trolled and criticised more than their male counterparts. I can say this from my observation of the way media constantly questions Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor and other female stars for their choices – whether it is fashion, political opinion or lifestyle. Do they question the male stars enough as well?”

Citing examples of films that have released this year and earned commercial success, the “Fukrey” fame actress mentioned: “How many times has the media questioned male actors on films that are jingoistic and encourage warmongering? During the press conference of my film “Section 375″, I was asked about my opinion on the flood-affected areas. Do they ask these questions to the real people who actually can bring change – I mean the authorities and politicians?”

In “Section 375”, she plays the female lead and received a lot of positive reviews from the critics. However, in her initial days, she experienced both sides of media coverage but she learnt to handle everything gracefully.

On negative media coverage, Richa said: “I am very cordial with my critics because how they write about me is their prerogative. In my initial days, I have had press call me ugly. They called me names for my appearance in a film where I was not required to look glamorous. An article was written on me, titled ‘10 things that one hates about Richa Chadha’ by a publication. If a journalist tries to belittle me, I would rather grow a thick skin, instead of taking the negativity to my heart.”

criticise, Richa Chadha, Gender, discrimination, female, male
Instead of trial by media, it should be trial by law: Richa Chadha on #MeToo. Flickr

“There is a difference between critiquing and being mean to someone, and I know that,” she added.

Over the past few years, Richa has also been trolled – whether in 2016 for her comment on the commonality between herself and Pakistani actor Fawad Khan at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, or when random social media users called her names. However, she always gives the trollers back.

Richa is gearing up for “Panga” next year, and her gameplan is very much in place.

“I will be continuing experimenting with my work and I will be in a good space in the coming future, also because this is what the wisdom and experiment teach you. These days actors get encouraged to do experimental work but I have been doing it since my early days,” said the actress who portrayed a grandmother in the film “Gangs Of Wasseypur” when she was just 24 years old.

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Asked about where she gathers confidence from, Richa said: “There are women before me like Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, and Deepti Naval who have shown the courage of doing experimental films and of course they are inspirational for us.”

“Also, I am happy the way women are getting appreciation beyond their age. You know, when people say there is one Meryl Streep, I disagree, there are also Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, and Judi Dench, and everyone is nailing it in the films they do! Because age has nothing to do with performance,” she smiled. (IANS)