Director Zoya Akhtar, who has made critically acclaimed films like Luck by Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, is known for her aesthetic choices and lived-in characters. Her distinct creative style also serves as an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers and film buffs alike.
Akhtar, whose next project is the Netflix anthology film Lust Stories along with directors Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar and Dibakar Banerjee, recently spoke to us about some recurring motifs in her films. Her answer was in response to a question from our Film Club member Bhowmik Haria.
Akhtar says these things come up not during the writing process but during production design or while filming on-set. "We talk about using mirrors. Because it's people. And reflecting. And not reflecting themselves." In Dil Dhadakne Do, crucial moments in the film happen in front of mirrors.
In Luck by Chance, we see birds in Konkona Sen Sharma's character Sona's house. This motif is also carried forward throughout the film. We see multiple instances of birds used to suggest different things. However, she maintains that these elements are quite subliminal and not in-your-face.