90 ML filmmaker Anita talks about what she tried to tell through her movie

Chennai: “All women are inspired by characters depicted in movies like 36 Vayathiniley, Irudhi Suttru, Kaatrin Mozhi and many more women-centric movies. But no one is ready to accept the fact that these characters form only 20 per cent of the total women population and the remaining 80 per cent are still trying, broken, wanting to lead an independent life. This is what I tried to feature in my movie,” explains Anita Udeep, director of the recent controversial venture, 90 ML.

While facing a number of reviews that trashed the movie, protests and complaints against it, the director, in an interview to News Today, spoke about why this movie is a must-watch for women.

Q: Hasn’t 90 ML broken a lot of cliches?

A: I met a lot of women who were frustrated with their life and stuck with society’s pressure on how they should behave. They go through a lot of psychological tension because of this. These things are never addressed in Tamil movies. The right to be happy is the whole point. Women should never feel guilty about giving prime importance to their happiness. So, I thought it was high time movies talked about not feeling guilty for being happy. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be preachy. So, this is how the story of 90 ML kickstarted.

Q: Why is it that people do not see beyond the dope and alcohol?

A: Everyone sees alcohol and dope as the prominent things in the movie. But the truth is, it has addressed a lot of issues beyond this. It is all about perception. I have portrayed that a woman can stand and support another woman. I have said it is okay to accept and support same sex love, I have mentioned how a woman should decide independently.

Q: How do you feel about the rising protests against the movie?

A: Women’s progress has happened only through protests. Also, everyone should understand that the movie does not look down upon men. This is not like ‘men do, then why not women?’ It is all about their having the freedom over the life they want to lead. They need not be part of a family, make them happy, satisfy everyone and live for them. Women empowerment is not about fighting for rights or protesting for equality. It is all about having the guts to live the life they desire. Women have to wear different masks for different persons, whereas a man can have negative traits and people will accept it.

Q: What are the positive responses that you got for the movie?

A: A lot of women gave positive response after watching the movie. They especially loved it when a man gives respect to a woman’s decision about her life and keeps away from her. This is how Venkat’s character has been portrayed. He wants to marry Rita (Oviya) but after she clearly says that she is not ready for marriage, he does not write a song of hatred against her, he does not plot a crime against her. He just values her decision and moves away from her. So, I want women to boldly remove their mask and tell people this is what I am.

Q: What was most challenging while making this movie?

A: Presenting a completely new genre of movie itself is a challenging attempt. The movie has to talk about the emotional aspect of a girl.

Q: Where are you headed after this?

A: I want to do sci-fi and romance genre movies.

Q: What is the reason behind using the name Azhagiya Asura.

A: I have sung the song, Azhagiya Asura, in Whistle, which was a big hit. Now, I want to direct more movies, do music videos, costume designing and more. So I thought of having a punai peyar (pseudonym).

P T Usha