Mumbai: Nagraj Manjule had taken the Indian movie scene by storm with his blockbuster Marathi directorial, ‘Sairat’. The auteur, who’d also played a cameo in the film, is back on the big screen, but as an actor, this time round.
In ‘The Silence,’ Nagraj, however, appears in a very dark role, playing a wife-beater and paedophile. This has resulted in Nagraj being flooded with hate calls.
“Did I expect this kind of a backlash? I wouldn’t say I am surprised. Because ours is a predominantly emotional audience and it reacts not to the performance but to the character played by the actor,” he told DNA.
Nagraj, who is seen raping and assaulting his wife, played by Anjali Patil in the film, added, “That perception of keeping away from morally-reprehensible characters is not to be judged by me. Actors, who say they will stay away from negative characters, are right in their own way, as they are seen as role models. I have a different take on the issue of actors prejudging their characters’ morality. Someone has to do the dirty job in order to bring out the morally-correct viewpoint in a film. If I hadn’t played the evil, sexually-discrepant maama (uncle) in the film, its strong statement on protecting our children and women from violence would have been diluted.”
Elaborating on his character, Nagraj revealed, “He is that evil force, which is lurking in many middle-class homes. So often, we hear of children being violated by trusted relatives. The uncle who rapes the little girl in The Silence could be in any home. We need to be conscious of his presence. One way of doing so is by putting him on screen for all to see.”
Nagraj is expected to direct none other than Amitabh Bachchan in his next directorial....