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Life of a criminal- Cinema express

I like to pick films which are women-oriented: Kangana Ranaut

In this freewheeling chat with CE, Kangana Ranaut opens up about the controversies surrounding Simran, her transformation in Bollywood, and more

Sridevi S
Published: 12th September 2017

Kangana Ranaut, a self-made star, has never shirked from speaking her mind, taking on bigwigs, or exposing nepotism in Bollywood. In this freewheeling chat with CE, the actress opens up about the controversies surrounding Simran, her transformation in Bollywood, and more.

It’s said you really open up around the release of a film.
That’s untrue. I have always been vocal. I am a woman very proud of herself. If I really cared about the business of films, I would not say no to Khan films or take on Karan Johar. Films mean a lot to me but obviously not more than my own dignity.

How do you choose your scripts?
I like to pick films which are women-oriented. I like it when the film also addresses a social message. Like Simran does. There’s a message here about redemption. If you have taken a wrong way in life, it says there is always a way out. It’s a beautiful portrait of a migrant’s life.

Tell us more about Simran.
Simran aka Praful Patel is a free-spirited NRI woman in the US who wants to have an independent life. That’s her only ambition. How she gets into gambling in that pursuit is what the film is about. It’s a story of dreams and aspirations. It’s the story of all of us.

What’s very different about this film?
It is not a story of crime; it’s the story of a criminal. Bollywood films on criminals is usually black or white. Simran, which is a very honest portrayal of NRI life, isn’t. A typical Bollywood NRI is, in truth, not someone who sings and dances and has lots of money. We have tried to show that in Simran.

Is it true that Simran is inspired by a true story?
No. It’s simply a compilation of petty crimes in Europe by unarmed men and women. They (Europeans) have a prejudice about us. They are, in fact, scared of us. Hansal and I felt that it was funny and we thought that there was a need to tell this story.

Did you pour a bit of yourself into the character, seeing as you’re a co-writer of Simran?
I have collaborated with Apoorva Asrani in writing. I cannot exactly tell you which ones are inspired from my life but yes, it does have bits and pieces of my experience — mainly my experiences with my father.

How has Bollywood changed you over the years?
The change was inevitable as I started very young.  Bollywood has been challenging and testing. To be in such an extreme environment is itself a challenge. It is a strange place to be in. When you grow along with it, and age, you mature and become a part of it.

Tell us about your directorial venture.
I think it’s too early to talk about it. For now, I can say that it’s going to be a happy film of an old woman and a child. It has a fairytale-ish, metaphorical approach. I will talk more after wrapping up Manikarnika.

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