Bhumi Pednekar opens up on why films need to depict women better: They’re shown as people that have no desires

Bhumi Pednekar opens up on why women need better representation in the cinema of the 21st century. Bhumi said, “Women are shown as people that have no desires – no ambition, no sexual desires and that is something I again want to change.”
Bhumi Pednekar Bhumi Pednekar on why films need to depict women better says ‘Women are shown as people that have no desires’
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One of the leading stars of the young brigade in Hindi cinema, Bhumi Pednekar has emerged as the face behind women’s intention to play diverse roles on screen. Since the beginning of her career, Bhumi chose to take the path less taken and break stereotypes with her powerful performance in Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Bhumi had maintained consistency of socially relevant yet beautifully commercial films with her interesting choices that include her feminist character in Toilet Ek Prem Katha and the films that followed.

In her 6-year-old career so far, Bhumi has shown versatility through her outstanding performances in films like Toilet, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Bala, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare, Lust Stories, etc, has shown her inclination to represent women to be real on screen. Bhumi feels the industry still stereotypes women and she gets quite affected by it. On being asked about what driver her film choices, Bhumi said, “I often choose films that have a strong social message but I also think of picking projects that will do commercially well.”

Bhumi’s films have been appreciated across regions and nationalities due to the earthy connection of the stories. Very few people in Hindi cinema are representing the regular Indian who has uphill and downhill battles of his own that are relevant in society. About going for an unheard-of project like Toilet, Bhumi said, “When you think about Toilet, it is one of my most commercial socially relevant films. But the kind of reach the film had or the kind of impact the film had I was amazed. After the movie released, there were campaigns where fathers and mothers were at the forefront saying no Toilet no bride. That was honestly fantastic.”

Bhumi’s film choices have touched the sensitivity of human sexuality in many narratives. Her third film, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan with Ayushman dealt with male erectile dysfunction. On working with Ayushman and Lust Stories directed by Zoya Akhtar, Bhumi added, “Ayushmann and I did a film together – Shubh Mangal Saavdhan that speaks of human sexuality and that is something that is not spoken about. I did Lust Stories that speaks about gender gap, class divide and woman sexuality which is something that is not spoken at all.”

Bhumi has been trying to push the envelope on the kind of roles women are getting to do in Hindi cinema. Bhumi has spoken on the issue she feels deeply about by saying, “Women are shown as people that have no desires – no ambition, no sexual desires and that is something I again want to change. Through my cinema, I try in portraying women that exist, women that are real. Women need good representation in cinema. I see women not having the correct representation on screen. It really affects me.” 

Bhumi has been currently shooting for the sequel of Badhaai ho with Rajkumar Rao called Badhaai do where she is portraying the character of a handball player who dreams to make it into a national team. Bhumi is also part of the massive ensemble cast film called Takht which is directed by Karan Johar and stars Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, and Vicky Kaushal amongst others. 

Also Read| EXCLUSIVE: Bhumi Pednekar comes on board Mr. Lele with Vicky Kaushal and Kiara Advani