Rakul Preet Singh’s Chhatriwali continues to rule the top spot on Zee5.
The film preaches about the importance of sexual health.
Rakul carried the film on her shoulder as a small-town condom quality tester, Sanya.
Even two weeks after its debut, actor Rakul Preet Singh’s most recent film Chhatriwali still holds the #1 rank on Zee5. Because it emphasizes the value of sexual health, the movie is a success. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rakul, who starred as Sanya, a small-town condom quality inspector, spoke candidly about the movie and addressed some queries that viewers of Chhatriwali might have.
With Chhatriwalistill ruling the top lot of the OTT platform, how do you feel?
Rakul: Anytime your film gets that love and appreciation it feels great. Especially with Chhatriwali because of the sensitive topic and the kind of messages, we have got from women and men. On social media every day I get messages.
Your character Sanya hesitates to accept the job offer from the condom factory. Did Rakul in real life hesitate when the film came to you?
Rakul: I thought it was a very important subject. See if I am reluctant nobody can force me to do something. I have to believe in the subject because I have to perform it. I really liked the idea and whatever questions I had I asked the director at that point in time because it has to be handled very sensitively. You are telling people something normal but the way you are telling, is to still keep it for family audience viewing. I think he did a great job of making sure that the film can be viewed by a family. I had no hesitance and really believed in the subject.
You once revealed her experience with sex education class at school where she was all giggly and wanted the class to end as soon as possible. If you are given the task to give the talk to anyone, how would you do it differently?
Rakul: I think the problem is when we don’t speak facts as facts and go round and round. I think that’s Sanya’s approach. It’s as simple as you call a heart a heart, a uterus a uterus only. The more we normalise the conversations the more we present them as scientific facts the more normal they will become.
I don’t know where the difference comes from because the schools have it in the curriculum. But I don’t know what made us laugh at that time. Now that I look back and be like ‘why were we giggly and shy?’ It’s somewhere that society is controlling our minds. If that needs to be changed then it needs to start from home. Awareness about your body is important. There’s a difference between being aware of yourself and exploiting yourself.
The film has been called out by some for lines like ‘Humare pati homemade rasgolla khayenge woh bhi jaisa unhe pasand hai’ in the context of unprotected sex. Many found it regressive. What do you have to say about it?
Rakul: How do you tell them? You cannot use the word sex and tell them you know hum toh waise hi karenge jaise… You have to tell them right? The words that I used are made in a way that you can watch with the family and not feel uncomfortable.
Because the whole problem in the first go is that you don’t address the words the way they are supposed to be addressed. The point has to come across. See, people will like it, and some will not, our endeavour as a film is to cater to the maximum lot by making them understand and still not make it cringy. If you are sitting with your kids, who are teens who need to know this then we have to make you comfortable with the language we are using to put across the point.
People still address condoms as chhatri and hesitate to call them as it is. At one point, Rakul’s character highlights the problem. The word itself is cringy to me, as pointed out by many after the film title was released. What are your thoughts?
Rakul: This has taken from society. You must be aware that condoms are called helmet, chhatri, raincoat, and God knows what all names. Now the connotation came from there, she is working at an umbrella factory and now she is called Chhatriwali. I don’t understand what is cringy in Chhatriwali? It’s the mind. The thought process begins from the mind. If your mind is not in the right place you will find things a little off or cringy. Duniya toh aise hi bolti hai na toh unko usi language me sikha rahe hai (We are using a language which they understand). You can’t title the film condom tester. Then they will say aisa kaise title rakh diya.
You last appeared in Doctor G before Chhattriwali, which also came with social message as it revolved around the taboo of a male gynaecologist. Are these films your conscious choice? Are you going to pick up similar genres now?
Rakul: Before that, I was also in Cuttputlli and Thank God and Runway 34 which has got nothing to do with this, so there’s nothing like that. If there’s a good script and if it talks about a subject, great. If not, I want to do my commercial, naach gana and all of that. It’s all about what really strikes you at that point.
With so many films under your credit, do you feel you have overcome the tag of being a ‘girl next door’ after Chhatriwali?
Rakul: When did I have that tag? Who gave me that tag? Mujhe toh yeh tags ka pata nahi hai. I don’t know about any tags that people are giving me. In fact, people thought I was glam after De De Pyaar De. Doctor G and Chhatriwali have put in the girl next door image.
I believe there’s no tag. It’s only if you believe it in your head. As an actor, our job is to bring versatility, to be another character than what I am. That’s the beauty of our profession and that’s what I like to do, I don’t think I am in any slot. Like I said I want to do naach gana commercials and also films which are different and hard-hitting as well.
Rakul Preet Singh give her appearance at the “Chhatriwali” victory party
The last time we saw Rakul Preet Singh was in "Chhatriwali," which...