India’s biggest blockbuster movie Indira has been hailed as India’s best movie ever by a panel of critics, and a film that has been banned in the country for its depiction of casteism.
Actors Vinay Kumar and Manoj Sinha were among the panelists who said that it was the only film that made them feel “so proud”.
Indira is the story of a girl, played by actress Vinay Kapoor, who discovers that she has been born a slave in a remote village in Maharashtra state, where casteism is pervasive.
It has been dubbed India’s “Indian version of The Matrix” and has been viewed by many as the world’s most anticipated film of 2018.
While the film’s director, Rishabh Kumar, and writer, Amitabh Bachchan, have described it as the “best movie ever”, many critics have criticised its depiction, which they claim perpetuates casteism, and has no place in a democracy.
“Indira has a story about a girl who is born in a small village in an Indian state,” said Manoj, who has appeared in films including Prakash Chopra’s ‘Shakti’, and the upcoming ‘Indira’.
“It is very important that it is not the first or last film to be made, because this will affect the way we view things in the future,” he added.
“Indis is a story that deals with caste, but it is also about a man’s journey to escape his past and make it right,” said Rishabeet, who was born in the same village and has a daughter, a girl.
‘Indis’ was banned in India on December 1, 2017.
The Indian film industry has struggled for years to attract audiences, with some filmmakers, including Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Johal’ and Amitabhal, taking risks with their films to avoid censure.
But with the release of ‘Indis’, a film which was hailed by critics for its gritty realism and an honest portrayal of caste, the country’s film industry was suddenly in the spotlight.
The film’s makers were quick to distance themselves from the controversy, saying that the movie is about a woman’s quest to find her own freedom, and not the role of caste in Indian society.
Kumar, a former Indian football star, and Sinha, who played the title role in the film, have since expressed their regret for not speaking out sooner.
However, some have suggested that they were trying to appease critics, saying they wanted to keep the film alive in the minds of the audience, in order to promote it to others.
Sinha told The Times of India that he and Kumar were working hard to bring the film to audiences, and they hoped that the backlash against it would help them to continue to push the boundaries of cinema.
They were also careful to not criticise the film as a whole, however.
“We want to create a space where the audience can feel that we are not judging them.
We have to be careful,” Sinha said.
“We have to keep our distance and keep making a film, not criticising it.”