Aanand L Rai says people found Dhanush's casting 'odd' in Raanjhanaa; addresses allegations of promoting stalking

In a recent conversation, Aanand L Rai discussed the unconventional casting choice of Dhanush in Raanjhanaa and also responded to accusations of promoting stalking in the film. Find out more!

Updated on Jan 17, 2024  |  07:15 AM IST |  80K
Aanand L Rai reveals people perceived Dhanush's casting as ‘odd’ in Raanjhanaa
Picture Courtesy - Aanand L Rai Instagram / IMDb

Dhanush, recently seen in Captain Miller, ventured into Hindi cinema long before the surge of pan-Indian films in India. In 2013, he marked his Hindi debut with Aanand L Rai’s Raanjhanaa. Despite being a prominent figure in the Tamil industry, Dhanush was relatively unknown to the Hindi film audience at that time. In a recent interview, Rai disclosed that casting Dhanush faced resistance as people saw him as odd for a hero.

This resistance stemmed from the prevailing notion in the northern part of the country, where heroes were expected to fit certain physical attributes, and Dhanush did not conform to that standard.

Aanand L Rai discloses Dhanush's casting in Raanjhanaa was considered odd

In a conversation with Mashable India, Aanand L Rai highlighted the evolving perception of heroes, acknowledging that the conventional image of a hero, especially in 2012, revolved around a 6-foot-tall, fair-skinned individual in the northern part of the country. In that context, Dhanush, a southern star, appeared odd to the audience. However, according to Rai, Dhanush's on-screen presence and performance were unparalleled, transcending any preconceived notions.

While he didn't disclose the specifics of the criticisms the actor faced at the time, Rai emphasized his undeniable appeal when seen in action. Rai has since collaborated with Dhanush in Atrangi Re, and they have announced another joint project, Tere Ishk Mein.


Aanand L Rai responds to allegations of endorsing stalking in Raanjhanaa

During the conversation, Rai also confronted the criticisms aimed at his film Raanjhanaa, particularly the contention that it endorses stalking as the male lead engages in such behavior towards the female protagonist played by Sonam Kapoor. Reflecting on the accusations, he shared that, when confronted with claims of depicting stalking, he realized that the character, hailing from Varanasi, lacked awareness about such conduct.

The character had no comprehension that his actions were considered stalking. He expressed love in a manner typical to his cultural background, adhering to what he knew. While acknowledging the inherent wrongness of such actions, Rai clarified that he isn't attempting to justify them but rather illuminating the character's perspective.

Notably, actors Swara Bhasker and Abhay Deol, who were integral to the film, had previously raised concerns about the film's potentially romanticizing stalking. In 2020, Abhay Deol took to social media, suggesting that history might not look kindly on the film due to its regressive messaging. He shared, "It’s been a theme in Bollywood for decades, where a boy can (and should), pursue a girl until she relents. Only in cinema does she do that willfully. In reality, we have seen time and again that it leads to sexual violence of some sort. Glorifying it on screen only leads to blaming the victim.”

More about Raanjhanaa

Raanjhanaa is a romantic drama that follows the journey of Kundan, the son of a Hindu pundit, who discovers that his childhood sweetheart, Zoya, is in love with a city-bred man named Akram and wishes to marry him. Undeterred by this revelation, Kundan persistently tries to win Zoya's heart, leading to a complex and emotionally charged narrative that explores love, sacrifice, and societal expectations.

ALSO READ: Shah Rukh Khan and director Aanand L Rai fought on Zero sets due to THIS reason; find out

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Sanchi Gupta is your ultimate Bollywood buff. She traded in her finance and HR degree for the glitz and


Credits: Mashable India

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