Kundan Shah takes on the dowry issue in his latest film, `Three Sisters'
`DOWRY OR dahej has become a cliché when you tackle the issue as a film subject. But it is a reality in the middleclass," says filmmaker Kundan Shah as he wraps up his forthcoming sombre Three Sisters. Slated for release in January, the film "is based upon the Kanpur incident from 1988 where three sisters aged 22, 20 and 18 years committed suicide, as their parents couldn't arrange for dowry. Similar reports followed from Nagpur and Bhilai. After seeing a BBC documentary on dowry deaths, I thought I'd handle it the other way around."
"Three Sisters is an emotionally told narrative, on the last six hours of these three sisters. This is a message for girls in this kind of predicament psychologically suffocated where they cannot see beyond the situation that they can come out of it. There is nothing that they lack. And that such girls should not die," says Shah.
The film revolves around the three protagonists played by Amrita Subhash, a NSD student and Marathi stage and theatre personality, television artiste Shiju Kataria and Kadambini Kadam. "It is an inventive screenplay without any flashback and set in one location. Music is by Sandesh Shandilya, reflecting the mood and content of the film," he says.
On choosing a sombre premise, the FTII student who helmed the cult comedy flick Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and the bittersweet Kabhi Haan, Kabhie Naa reflects, " If you see Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, it is a black comedy.
There is a lot of angst in it bridge collapse, cement adulteration and corruption. The film ends with a punch line `if you lead a life with honesty, you are a fool'."
"I try to make what I feel strongly about. The idea struck me when I was making Kya Kehna. Given a choice, I would have made Three Sisters then," he adds.
Kundan Shah who gave us path-breaking serials like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Nukkad and Circus does not see himself returning to the small screen. "I would love to make those kinds of serials.
But we cannot do anything like that now. The sponsors are looking for soaps based on a lifestyle that they want to sell. That, unfortunately, does not reach 80 per cent of the population," he reflects.
As for his forthcoming film, unlike the Hinglish crossover trend, "it is a film in Hindi, for the Indian masses with very Indian sentiments at its heart."
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