Taapsee Pannu’s recent comments about her first director K. Raghavendra Rao have landed her in a soup! Telugu filmmakers aren’t amused with the satirical comments of the actress, who made her debut in the industry with Jhummandi Nadam in 2010. Taapsee, on a comedy show, spoke of how south Indian filmmakers are obsessed with actresses’ navels or midriffs. This has backfired and how. Telugu filmmakers are now up in arms, criticising her for passing comments against a senior director.
“The word ‘obsession’ is completely wrong. It’s not only the south Indian filmmaker, every Indian filmmaker wants to show the female actress in a beautiful way. If you look at our culture, the puranas or the sculptures in temples, you can see the woman portrayed in a beautiful manner, with her navel showing. It is an art form and directors shoot it in their own way,” says filmmaker Y.V.S. Choudhary, who has worked with Raghavendra for nearly five years.
“The media today is concentrating only on his recent films, but he has made many women-oriented films like Kalpana, Jyothi, Madhura Swapnam and so on. Also, in comparison, Hindi filmmakers show ten times more than what our southern filmmakers are showing,” defends Y.V.S.
Interestingly, yesteryear actress Sridevi, who worked with Raghavendra Rao in 24 films, got tagged as athiloka sundari (world’s best beauty) after his film Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari. Not just Sridevi, many actresses have been eager to work with him and they were all shown in a glamorous way.
“In most of Yash Chopra’s films, you can find the lead actress in a white sari in the rain. Some people find it vulgar, some find it beautiful, while others say it is aesthetic,” says Suresh Babu.
He feels even painters portray women according to their sensibilities. “A famous photographer used to click women in tribal outfits. People felt it was beautiful and aesthetic, but he was also criticised for vulgarity. It all depends on how you take it. It is not easy to make a film to enthrall all sections of the audience,” says Suresh Babu.
Taapsee was the talk of the town after her debut. The actress, who is now busy in Bollywood, has acted in many Telugu films.
“It is not right on her part, after she started her career here to criticise her first director. Who asked her to do that film? Why didn’t she choose a film like Pink or Naam Shabana in the beginning? Why is she criticising now?” asks director Nandini Reddy, angrily.
Nandini also adds that it is not only the southern filmmakers who are obsessed with the navel. “If you look at Hindi cinema, you can find more examples. Did she criticise Raj Kapoor for showing Mandakini in the film Ram Teri Ganga Maili? Now that she has two good Hindi films, it is not right for her to make comments about a senior director,” adds Nandini Reddy.