Bhumi Pednekar blames Covid-19 pandemic for lack of women-led films: ‘There was cost-cutting on female-centric movies’
Bhumi Pednekar believes that Veere Di Wedding was the last women-centric film to do well at the box office. Bhumi's Thank You For Coming released recently.
Bhumi Pednekar has said that the last female-centric movie that worked well at the box office was Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor's Veere Di Wedding (2018), adding that the Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdown led to cost-cutting on women-centric films. Bhumi was speaking with PTI ahead of the release of her new film Thank You For Coming. Rhea Kapoor has produced the film; she was also the producer of Veere Di Wedding. (Also read: Thank You For Coming box office collection day 1: Bhumi's film mints ₹80 lakh)
Last female-centric film to score well
Bhumi told the news agency that Veere Di Wedding was the last such film that worked at the box office and highlighted the fact that the same producers have made Thank You For Coming. She said, “After Veere Di Wedding we had more such stories. Then lockdown (due to COVID-19) happened and then obviously there was cost-cutting on female-centric films. Then, we saw Rhea Kapoor, who made this kind of film (Thank You For Coming) again.”
Veere Di Wedding made around ₹130 crore worldwide, when it released in 2018. Last year, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi was a surprise hit at the box office. The film led by Alia Bhatt, scored a little more than ₹200 crore at the global box office, according to a Sacnilk report.
Saand Ki Aankh
She added that good films will always work. "It is all about whether the film is good or bad. I remember when I had done Saand Ki Aankh, which is a female-led film, compared to another film, which released on the same day, and it did overall business of ₹350 crore. While my film did ₹45 crore but our film was running in theatres for 100 days. The beauty of cinema is that good work will always be remembered and watched for generations," she added.
Thank You Coming and patriarchy
Bhumi also talked about the theme of her new film and insisted that it is not man versus woman, but rather a take on how patriarchy is ingrained in both men and women. She said, “Orgasm is a metaphor for a larger scheme of things that the film talks about. The film is against patriarchy, it is not about man versus woman, because patriarchy is not gender specific. Women and men both are patriarchal. That's the thought of the film. The film is about sisterhood, womanhood... Every film has a thought or a premise, so this is the premise of the film.”
"If we had not kept this tone of the film... We would not have been honest to what we have made. If we are making a film about female pleasure and if we are only shying to talk about it, then what's the point?"
Bhumi features in the lead role in Rhea Kapoor's latest production, Thank You For Coming. The film also stars Shibani Bedi, Shehnaaz Gill, Kusha Kapila, and Dolly Singh.
Will the film help remove the stigma around female pleasure?
She hopes Thank You For Coming helps diminish the stigma around sexual liberation of women. “Till the time, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan had not been released people would shy to talk about the topic of erectile dysfunction. It was an issue in families but one would not be able to talk about it, I believe that film eased the conservation.”
"I feel with this film (Thank You For Coming), female orgasm, female desire, and all this is one part of the film, these are small themes in the film, but there are more important things that the film comments about. It is a normal thing," she added.
More About Thank You For Coming
Directed by Karan Boolani, Thank You For Coming tells the story of a single woman, Bhumi as Kanika Kapoor. Kanika is in her 30s and the film traces her quest for true love and pleasure - an endeavour in which her close group of friends helps. Radhika Anand and Prashasti Singh have written the film.