Mission Mangal producer R Balki says film is not women-centric or about female empowerment

Mission Mangal is a retelling of India's first ever mission to Mars, directed by debutant Jagan Shakti.

FP Staff August 05, 2019 10:53:29 IST
Mission Mangal producer R Balki says film is not women-centric or about female empowerment

Mission Mangal, a space drama, helmed by newcomer director Jagan Shakti, will hit cinemas on Independence Day. It is a retelling of India's first ever mission to Mars, starring Taapsee Pannu, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, and Kirti Kulhari, with Akshay Kumar, HG Dattatreya, and Sharman Joshi. R Balki, who has directed Kumar in Padman, also serves as a producer.

Balki speaks about the film, and working with his Assistant Director Shakti for almost more than a decade, in an interview with Times of India.

Mission Mangal producer R Balki says film is not womencentric or about female empowerment

R Balki. Image from Twitter/@buzzdreamz

Balki shares that when they were working on Padman, Shakti came up with an idea about Mangalyaan's launch. They initially thought about telling the story in another language but chose Hindi to reach to a wider audience. Balki says that they created a set of "fictitious, yet strong characters" to narrate one of India's greatest scientific achievements. He says that they have tried to keep the scientific aspects as well as the flow of events as close to real as possible.

Balki also speaks about the prominent female cast with TOI. He is of the view that Mission Mangal is neither women-centric nor about women empowerment.

"It’s rare and nice to see so many women on a single film poster. It must have received a lot of attention, but this film is led by Akshay Kumar, like Padman was. That was about sanitary napkins, but the story was led by Akshay’s character. So, I disagree with the notion that we’ve made a woman-centric film. And why should I attempt to empower women who are already far superior and more powerful than men? Do they even need it?"

However, Kumar, who had also previously spoken about casting five female leads in the film, had called them the "real heroes". "I am supposed to be behind them even though I am producing it. I am very happy to see these five girls, who are very big in their own way, are not bothered that there are five of them coming together," he had said to Press Trust of India. 

Mission Mangal is scheduled to release alongside John Abraham's Batla House and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in India on 15 August.

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