Mumbai, Nov 5 ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ caught the audience’s attention with its trailer and the chemistry between its lead actors. Directed by debutant Vivek Soni, the film stars Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani as the leads.
It tells the story of a newly-wed couple who find themselves adjusting with the challenges of a long-distance relationship owing to their professional commitments. As suggested by the trailer, the film serves a wholesome treat of romance, comedy and drama and also makes one think about the complications in a long-distance relationship.
The film’s team; Vivek Soni, Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani recently joined IANS over a chat where they spoke about the idea behind the film, how it materialised and the world that its characters are set in. Here are the snippets:
To introduce its lead characters, the film’s trailer takes a rather unusual route of making us acquainted with them through their extreme close up shots of posture, body language and gestures. Ask Vivek the reason behind this creative choice and he reveals, “I always get fascinated by how the state of mind affects the body language and the posture. If someone is conscious then his hand or maybe his leg will move in a different way, as opposed to someone who’s feeling very confident.”
“I really love frames in which I can observe the postures of the actors, as opposed to just doing a close up shot where they’re emoting their emotions though mere dialogues”, he adds.
Marriages are also about traversing the distance in a metaphorical sense as two individuals from two different worlds come together. When asked what the worlds of Meenakshi and Sundareshwar look like, Sanya says, “Meenakshi and Sundareshwar are two very different personalities. Meenakshi is very confident, she’s out there, she speaks her mind whereas Sundar is very reticent and shy. So, there is definitely a distance between these two.”
“But what is endearing about their relationship is that despite being two opposite people, they don’t want each other to change. They are ready to grow together and that’s very special, I feel”, she explains further.
Abhimanyu adds, “The compassion and the understanding between these two characters, to achieve their personal goals and also their combined goals, the dedication towards that is really great.”
Talking about choosing a rom-com for his directorial debut, Vivek says, “I love this genre of love stories and this theme of long distance relationships is such a universal team, it’s such a relatable theme, that was a reason I really wanted to explore it and wanted it to be the theme of my first film.”
The film’s schedule was disturbed by the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in the first half of 2020. But, this came as a blessing in disguise for the actors and the unit as Abhimanyu states, “We had intense readings before we started shooting for the film. The film was actually supposed to be shot before the first lockdown. Half of the people (from the film’s unit) had left Bombay to shoot for the first schedule but they were called back because the lockdown was happening.”
“So, we got enough time during the lockdown to understand the characters and live with them for a while, which in this day and age is tough to do because we’re moving on from one ‘project’ to another. Getting enough time to live with the characters, empathise with them, and understand them”, he adds.
The actor also credits his director for the latter’s clarity of thought and categorical briefs to the actors in terms of what was needed out of them, Abhimanyu adds, “All the direction and the readings that he (Vivek) did with us made it very easy and clear.”
“His clarity in terms of vision towards each character and what he wanted in the film was so detailed and so intricate; the homework was done to the T. So it was just easy for us to implement exactly what he had told us to do”, he said as the team signed off.