‘We’re Empowered By Our Choices’

Actresses Swara Bhasker and Sonam Kapoor on choosing to make Veere Di Wedding and why we should not load the film with the mantle of feminism
‘We’re Empowered By Our Choices’

In an interview, Veere Di Wedding director Shashanka Ghosh had described the film as an 'estrogen tsunami'. The movie, headlined by four actresses, features them grappling with the fallout of individual life choices and supporting each other through the process. It's also notable for its portrayal of women smoking, downing alcohol and having frank discussions about sex. The actresses, however, told us we should not load the film with the mantle of feminism:

Sonam Kapoor: It's been misconstrued what feminism and women empowerment is. It's a choice. We are all different characters and all have different ways of behaving in the film. My character, Avni, barely abuses. But when she does, she does, once in a while. And there's nothing wrong with it. I don't think this question would be posed to men  – that you're drinking, smoking, abusing or are sexually active, does this make you less of a man?

Swara Bhasker: Nobody said this is a feminist film. Nobody said this is a film about empowerment. It's taken 105 years for mainstream Bollywood to make a film about four girls who are friends and not falling in love with the same guy. I've said this again and again but I think it bears repetition. People saw four girls who are in a certain urban setting being realistic to what young, urban working women and their lifestyle is – we do curse, some of us more than others, we do drink. We're empowered by our choices. And just because we are showing that onscreen, why is that becoming an issue? When we allow our male characters to be as close to the reality of that story as possible, why can't we let our women have that? Nobody asks Anurag Kashyap why his characters swear so much.

SK: We're making a film that's pretty real – a lot of my friends drink, a lot of my friends smoke, a lot of my friends are sexually active.

SB: Please don't put this empowerment and naari vaad and feminism on us. It's the story of four girlfriends dealing with life and having fun. So take what you will from it.

SK: There's an aspiration for women to be like, it's okay if you're not getting married, it's okay if you've not had sex for a year with your husband, it's okay if you're getting a divorce, it's okay if you're commitment phobic – it's fine. Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania are also going through it via their characters and they're enjoying themselves and they have a friendship. So if that is empowering in a certain way, let it be empowering in a certain way. But we're not taking on the mantle (of feminism).

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