Deepika Padukone to star in Meghna Gulzar’s next on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal
The film will also mark Deepika’s debut as a producer
Deepika Padukone will be collaborating with Raazi director Meghna Gulzar on her upcoming film on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The Padmaavat actor will be both starring in and producing the yet-to-be-titled film.
"When I heard the story, I was deeply moved. It is a story not just of gross violence, but of strength, courage, hope and victory. It has had such a massive impact on me that I personally and creatively needed go beyond and hence the decision to turn producer too,” Deepika said in a statement.
Speaking about the subject of the film, Meghna Gulzar shared, “In spite of regulation on the sale of acid and changes in legislation regarding acid attacks, both of which are consequences of the Acid attack case of Laxmi and her Public Interest Litigation, the ground reality is still very grim. Acid violence is a very prevalent danger even today. Medical treatment, compensation, rehabilitation and inclusion of acid attack survivors are still very real challenges. Using Laxmi’s story as a lens, we are attempting to explore these aspects and consequences of acid violence in our society. This is what makes this story, relevant and one that must be told. Because if anything, awareness is the first step towards change."
Touting Deepika as the best choice for the role, Meghna added, "It is both an emotionally and physically challenging role to play. I was instinctively convinced that Deepika can do justice to the character and the story. Also, her physicality matched what I had imagined for the character of Laxmi. I am grateful and feel extremely encouraged that Deepika was so spontaneous in her decision to do this film. Also, when you take a face as beautiful as hers, and portray it as an acid survivor, the magnitude of the violence and damage is that much more resounding."
Deepika was earlier reported to work with filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj in her next. However, owing to the health concerns of her co-star Irrfan Khan, the film could not go on floors.
Meghna Gulzar made her directorial debut in 2002 with Filaah. She rose to fame with true-crime mystery thriller Talvar, which released in 2015. Her last release, Raazi, starring Alia Bhatt, was a critical and commercial success.