"Language is no longer an issue": Aparna Sen on her first Hindi feature film 'The Rapist'

'The Rapist' is a thought-provoking examination of the anatomy of rape, the psyche of its perpetrators and the trauma experienced in its aftermath

"Language is no longer an issue": Aparna Sen on her first Hindi feature film 'The Rapist'
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Subhash K Jha

Applause Entertainment’s maiden feature film The Rapist has taken the international film-festival circuit by storm. It has received thunderous applause wherever it was released.

After the success of its premium drama series like Criminal Justice, Rudra: The Edge of Darkness and Scam 1992, Applause Entertainment’s foray into the world of movies is off to a solid start with The Rapist being celebrated across the globe. Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Aparna Sen and produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Quest Films Pvt. Ltd., this powerful story has been on a dream run at the biggest Indian and International film festivals.

After being celebrated across festivals including the Busan International Film Festival, London Indian Film Festival, Kolkata International Film festival, and International Film festival of Kerala, ‘The Rapist’ will now be screened at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne in August. The film has also received three nominations at IFFM including ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Actress’. The Rapist had previously won the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at Busan.

The Rapist is a thought-provoking examination of the anatomy of rape, the psyche of its perpetrators and the trauma experienced in its aftermath. The drama also marks the reunion of mother-daughter duo of Aparna Sen-Konkona Sen Sharma after several acclaimed films including the National Award winning, Mr. And Mrs. Iyer.

Says Aparna, “The Rapist is my first full-length Hindi feature film. The language has to happen organically. My first film 36 Chowringhee Lane had to be in English because the protagonist was an Anglo-Indian. Or Mr & Mrs Iyer, one protagonist speaks Tamil the other Bengali. So which language should they communicate in? English, right?”

"Language is no longer an issue": Aparna Sen on her first Hindi feature film 'The Rapist'

Aparna admits language is no longer an issue. “All films are subtitled in English. Also, our kind of films are rarely seen by rural audiences. The urban-rural divide among audiences has become really sharp. For this film, I had an excellent Hindi dialogue writer Hussain Haidry. You must have heard of him.”

Aparna opted for authentic casting in The Rapist. “We had all these boys from the slums playing slum dwellers. They were all very good actors. Hey spoke a language that I had no clue about. I am talking about the hardcore cuss words which I wouldn’t know in any language. I gave them the basic lines and I asked them to embellish the lines with cuss words. Of course, Hussain was a great contributor. The peculiar Delhi flavour which I am not familiar with were done by Hussain. He actually visited Delhi to get a feel of the dialect.”

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