The Lead: Anu Menon and the making of 'Shakuntala Devi'

The Lead: Anu Menon on what went around making 'Shakuntala Devi'

Anu Menon

In this episode, Director of 'Shakuntaladevi' Anu Menon talks to DH's Anila Kurian about what went into the making of 'Shakuntaladevi' and more.

Excerpts:

Q: I wanted to discuss with you about your upcoming film 'Shakuntaladevi'. Could you tell us a little about what it's been like to promote a movie on an OTT platform in a situation like this

A: Firstly, I think, I'm are thankful that we are even getting an opportunity to release the film and release it in this way and be able to take it to the people.  I kinda take it with a pinch of salt. I mean, I think, we all make the most of where we are. It's been interesting. We have delivered the film in lockdown. This has slightly been the way of life for me for the last three months because we have worked through the lockdown, through the pandemic. So I just feel it's a continuation of promoting the film, I think we have found the way of delivering what we want to do without being able to do the things we would've done otherwise.

Q: Given the fact that it is such a strong topic as Shakuntaladevi herself and the fact that she also has a base in Bangalore.

A: Right

Q: Can you tell it what it was like for you to research and learn about her?

A: We had researches largely based on the conversation we had with Anupama Banerjee, Shakuntala's daughter, who currently lives in London, though she has lived in Bangalore for a long time. I have also spent a fair bit of time in Bangalore. I understand that milieu. I understand that space. The film kind of captures Shakuntaladevi through the eyes of her daughter, so it's a bit more intimate portrayal of the woman behind the genius. We have done a lot of academic research, so to speak, of all the interviews she (Shakuntaladevi) had given, all the performances she had done, her childhood and a whole bunch of things. She did come from Bangalore but Shakuntaladevi belonged to the world. She didn't know how to live in a place for more than 4 days. She had a base in London, where she spent a lot of time, she lived in New York, she had a place in Mumbai; so she actually was a globe trotter and she felt that the world was her oyster. I think it's like the Bangalore girl kind-of conquers the world. That's what we found out...
 
To know more about the conversation, listen to the podcast.

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