On the heels of directing a movie that is based on a person that is very much like her, Meghna reflects on her directing and narrating skills.
Raazi, is a simple narrative of an ordinary woman that is put through very extraordinary circumstances. “Sehmat is not a femme fatale, she is an ordinary college-going girl that gets picked up and is put through a remarkable journey,” Gulzar explained.
The movie is an official adaptation of Harinder S Sikka’s 2008 novel Calling Sehmat, and will be released on May 11.
“She is not a superwoman. There has to be a vulnerability to her and that quality stays with her till the end of her narrative. On the face of it, the film may come across as this espionage drama or thriller, but it is not Mission: Impossible. It is not going to be a hysterical, exaggerated, espionage thriller – those words scare me, actually. Even if my film belongs to that genre, it might not execute it or follow the format of the films in the genre. For me, and for all of us in the crew, it is this woman’s journey that has been inspiring.”
Meghna, born to a talented, writer-poet-director, father Gulzar, made her debut with Filhaal. Meghna takes alot of pride in her lineage. Thought she had a very normal upbringing. But she felt that the comings and goings of film fraternity in her house, the impromptu visits to her mother's film sets gave much gusto to her aptitute towards filmmaking. I think I was blessed. My parents completely and willingly opened the doors of the film world for me.
Gulzar made her debut in 2002 with Filhaal. She directed Just Married in 2007 and contributed to the anthology film Dus Kahaniyaan that year, but the critical mainstream breakthrough came with Talvar in 2015. The movie is based on the 2008 double murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar and domestic worker Hemraj Banjade.
“For example, when Vishalji (Bharadwaj) discussed the subject of Talvar with me, I realised it is completely different from the kind of films I had made before that,” Gulzar said. “It was a strong and gritty subject and I had no idea if I would be able to direct it properly. But it took me a fraction of a second to say yes, this is a film I want to make. There is this confidence inside you that calls out to you and tells you, yes, go ahead.”
From her films, you can gage her brevity, the delicacy of moments that require deep expressions and careful thought and uniquely quilting together narratives so that emotions and logic blend together like ying and yang.
Another thing that she has common between her father and her is the purity of the language in her movies. Their pursuit isn't to find an unusual factor, but to be with the script and character. The diversity comes in their songs. No two songs are alike. The words in the songs are experimental - a combo of Hindi and Urdu. That's when they reach new lingustic paradigms. Else, there is no room for derailing from the concenter of the narrative. Ther pursuit is not to find something unusual, but to be with the script and the character.