"Deepika Padukone's JNU visit resulted in losses for Chhapaak," says director Meghna Gulzar
Meghna Gulzar acknowledges the negative impact of Deepika Padukone's JNU visit on "Chhapaak." The controversy diverted attention, leading to unequivocal setbacks for the film.
In January 2020, Deepika Padukone's visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) during protests sparked a significant backlash from netizens. This move led to widespread calls for a boycott of Deepika and her newly released film "Chhapaak," which gained traction across social media platforms.
In a recent event organized by Indian Express Adda, director Meghna Gulzar disclosed that Deepika's JNU visit had a detrimental impact on the film. Meghna expressed, "I believe this is quite evident. Yes, that decision affected the film because, despite its focus on acid attack survivors, the discourse at that time shifted away from the film's core issue to other discussions." She further emphasized that Deepika's move unquestionably resulted in losses for the film, leaving no room for doubt on this matter.
The movie, featuring Deepika and "12th Fail" actor Vikrant Massey, failed to perform well at the box office. It centered on the real-life story of acid attack survivor Lakshmi Aggarwal.
At the beginning of 2020, JNU experienced heightened tensions, with masked individuals unlawfully entering the Sabarmati hostel, subjecting students to harassment and physical assault using sticks and metal rods. Earlier, students were accused of chanting "anti-national" slogans, prompting a protest joined by Deepika herself. She spoke out against the violence. In "Chhapaak," Deepika portrayed the role of Lakshmi Aggarwal, and the film's narrative was based on her life.
Shifting focus to Meghna Gulzar, she is currently preparing for the release of her upcoming film "Sam Bahadur," scheduled for December 1. Starring Vicky Kaushal as India's first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the film also features Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh in prominent roles.