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As Kerala stays glued to courtroom proceedings of a molestation case involving celebrities, a multi-layered movie, The Rapist, directed by auteur Aparna Sen, goes past the culprit-survivor binary to discover why an individual turns into a rapist.

The Rapist, which bagged the Kim Jiseok Award on the Busan Worldwide Movie Pageant in 2021, struck a chord with viewers of the twenty sixth version of the Worldwide Movie Pageant of Kerala. Starring Aparna’s daughter Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania within the lead roles, the movie explores how a heinous crime like rape impacts the individuals concerned and society at massive. Is it nature or nurture or a mix of each? What circumstances make one a rapist?

Talking over telephone from Kolkata, the 76-year-old famend actor-director, winner of a number of nationwide and state awards, explains why she made a movie that tries to grasp a society that creates rapists. She says: “A new child doesn’t turn out to be a rapist in a single day. He turns into a toddler, a younger boy, a teenager… What turns him right into a rapist? Rape, say activists and lecturers, is all about energy. I agree. However what makes an individual use rape as a weapon, as a approach of subjugating a girl?”

She says the theme had been on her thoughts because the Nirbhaya case and two years in the past it crystallised right into a story and a screenplay. When a Mumbai-based manufacturing home approached her and she or he narrated this story, they have been obsessed with it.

But it surely took a while earlier than the movie received the inexperienced sign. “I went to Mumbai, met Sameer Nair (CEO of Applause Leisure) and narrated the story. That was how the producers, Applause Leisure, got here on board,” she remembers.

Shot in Delhi over 27 days, the movie was accomplished in 2021. Aparna says the movie may have been set solely in Delhi as she had conceptualised that as the placement. Konkana performs Naina, a criminology professor married to Aftab Malik, essayed by Arjun.

Director-actor Aparna Sen

Director-actor Aparna Sen
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Every character goes by way of a prism of change after the rape as they grapple with their very own long-held convictions. “Aftab, as an illustration, is in opposition to capital punishment however when his spouse is raped, he finds himself analyzing his stand in opposition to capital punishment. The lives of Naina, Aftab and Prasad (Tanmay) are modified in a single day because of that one act of sexual violence.

“When Naina finds she is pregnant, she just isn’t positive whether or not the child is her husband’s and that’s when she decides to be taught extra in regards to the rapist. She desires to know if his criminality is in his genes! She desires to seek out why he raped her.”

Selecting her phrases rigorously, she says Naina is ‘pro-choice.’ “Now that doesn’t imply she is in favour of abortion or going forward with the being pregnant. It means the lady has a option to determine what she desires to do with it.”

When Naina and Prasad discuss to one another, the layers are peeled off and at one level Prasad finds himself calling Naina didi (sister).

For the screenplay, Aparna spoke to 2 pals who work with survivors and abused girls, medical doctors and legal professionals.

Konkona Sen in a still from Aparna Sen’s film ‘The Rapist’  

Konkona Sen in a nonetheless from Aparna Sen’s movie ‘The Rapist’  
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

What was it prefer to work along with her daughter on their sixth movie? The mom’s delight in her daughter is obvious in her phrases.

“She has turn out to be higher and higher in each approach. We communicate to one another each day. However we speak about mundane issues, what she ate, the place she went and in between, she would possibly slip in about an award she has received.

“When she started working with me, she used to hearken to me extra. Now, she brings in her personal interpretation of her character. I used to be assured that she could be the perfect for Naina.”

She factors out that she took care to see that she doesn’t take sides within the movie and every character has to navigate his/her personal complexities and understanding.


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