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Women directors give female characters more layers, says Sayani Gupta

The actress, who plays a pivotal role in Bornila Chatterjee's The Hungry, has worked with many woman directors.

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Actress Sayani Gupta, who plays a pivotal role in the Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Copra-starrer The Hungry, says women directors treat female characters with "more layers and complexities" than their male counterparts.

Gupta has worked with many female directors like Shonali Bose (Margarita With A Straw, 2015), Leena Yadav (Parched, 2016), Nitya Mehra (Baar Baar Dekho, 2016) and Bornila Chatterjee (The Hungry).

Asked her opinion on the treatment of female characters in a film directed by a woman director, Gupta told the IANS news agency: "I think I have worked with more female directors than with their male counterparts. From my observation, yes, women directors treat female characters with more layers and complexities than male film directors. I think a woman understands the psychology of another woman better than a man.

"When it comes to interpretation of a woman in the film, mostly it is extreme. Either they are a sweet and virginal girl or a vamp. There is nothing in between... the grey elements are missing. But all humans are grey. I think a woman writer and director brings that out in a story or in a film. Then it becomes more layered."

The actress was present in Mumbai for the Asian premiere of The Hungry at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

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Giving an insight into her character Loveleen Ahuja, she said: "In the whole game of power struggle between two business families, she is like the bright sunshine who is untouched by darkness. However, in the course of her journey, she becomes a victim."

Chatterjee is a new film director whose The Hungry is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's violent play The Lamentable Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus.


Asked if she was worried about the box-office performance of the film, Gupta said: "Bornila is a headstrong, sharp and sorted film director. From the first day of the shooting, she knew what she wanted. So whether it is me, Naseer sir or Tisca and the rest of the cast, we knew we were in good hands. We had a great time shooting."

The film also features Neeraj Kabi, Arjun Gupta, Antonio Aakeel and Suraj Sharma. It has been shortlisted for the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai film festival.

The Hungry is co-produced by Cinestaan Film Company, a sister company of Cinestaan Digital Private Limited, which runs this website.