Nushrratt Bharuccha was the top pick for Amazon Prime Video’s “Chhorii”


Amazon Prime Videos Chhorii is now streaming online and features Indian actor Nushrratt Bharuccha in the lead role. Directed by Vishal Furia, the film is a horror story with nuances of an important social message. While Furia aims to emphasize the social message, it’s not clear whether the films can actually make an impact.

In this interview, the filmmaker, who also directed the original Marathi hit, Lapachhapi, explains how he adapted his own film for a wider audience, what it meant to him, and more. An excerpt from the conversation:

Other than a wider platform, what prompted you to go for a Hindi remake of your own Marathi hit? What changes have you made to the Hindi remake?

My main thought was, as you rightly said, a larger audience. Because the first film was a short film in Marathi, a regional language film and it was limited to a particular state in India, but the response has been overwhelming. Female audiences flocked to theaters in large numbers to see the film as they could relate to the protagonist of the film. They could understand his difficulties, his pain, his emotions and finally, his victory over it all. It was an amazing response and also a surprising response, as horror is generally a male dominated genre in India. It was the first time that I had seen a huge female audience adopting this genre. It motivated me to go ahead and tell this story to a Pan Indian audience, because although our culture and traditions are different and varied in India, the emotions we feel are always the same.

(Writing for Chhorii) It was important to write and design the movie in such a way that everyone finds it real – something that can happen around them. This resulted in changes in the set design, costume design, and language spoken. It was a major and key change.

Additionally, the actors (new actors were recruited to play all of the main characters) were all new actors embracing the script. So they brought new perspectives and that, too, added to the narrative. Horror was seen in a very different way. Additionally, I have grown as a person over the past five years. There are some things that I see differently now compared to what I saw earlier. This brought new additions. There are a lot of things that have changed in this version.

Tell us about the germination of the idea behind Lapachhapi and how it took the form of a movie five years ago.

I was in the process of moving from the broadcast industry to the film industry and thought horror in India had been following the certain “trope format” for quite some time now. This is why we have fallen behind in this genre. It’s unfortunate because India has a huge plethora of stories. There is so much to do with this genre. There was a lot of difficulty trying to make the original movie because the business (the movie business) didn’t see it that way. Chhorii went well because I found the right collaborators as producers for it.

Tell us about the casting for Chhorii.

The idea was to have someone who was popular, because in India it is important that people have a face that they know well. At the same time, I was also sure that I didn’t want someone who has already (explored this genre). I wanted someone who was hungry in his approach. I wanted someone who wanted to prove, kind of like I had something to prove, and that’s when Nushrratt Bharuccha came along.

It was the name I had in mind. I had met her a few years ago about another project that didn’t materialize, but our conversation was amazing. And in that conversion, one thing that really stood out – that we both had to prove something. Even during the discussion with the producers, the first name they suggested was Bharuccha. Maybe they did it because they had worked with her.

Highlighting the harm of female feticide, how do you Chhorii will have an impact on society?

I don’t know how much of an impact films have on society. I would be happy and happy if I could get some people to change their mindset, or even take steps to talk to other people to change their mindset.

In the film, the protagonist is often told to “behave like a woman”.

It is unfortunate but also true. This is how one speaks to a woman in some cultures and households in India. A person that can go so far as to kill the little girl, can certainly talk to a woman that way, and that’s a very small thing compared to killing the child. These moments were meant to point to the state of mind.

(The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.)


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