Ever since her debut in Bollywood with ‘Dangal’ in 2016, Sanya Malhotra has consciously played a myriad of roles on screen which are seeped in reality.
Malhotra reasons, saying that unless a new generation of actresses question the Bollywood stereotype and demand a change in the image of women in cinema, the shift will not happen.
After her debut, Malhotra has portrayed her versatility in films such as ‘Pataakha’, ‘Photograph’, ‘Pagglait’ and ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’. Her latest, ‘Love Hostel’, releasing on February 25 on Zee5, is yet another example of Malhotra’s range as an actor.
“I think the kind of character I have acted on-screen so far are the women I have grown up seeing. The good thing is, writers are now writing them with empathy and not with sympathy,” said Malhotra, adding that even the audience is “demanding the right representation of women on-screen.”
Malhotra continued: “We really have to break those stereotypes. As an actress of the new generation, I surely feel the responsibility to choose and say the right thing. There are a few things about women in cinema we have just normalised, and maybe it is time for us to question them too. Yes, change is happening but we have a long way to go.”
Malhotra’s ‘Love Hostel’ revolves around a young couple, Ashu and Jyoti, who have an inter-faith relationship. As it their marriage is against the will of their parents, the couple is forced to elope, on the run for their lives in thiss honor killing.
She admitted that even though the story of ‘Love Hostel’ was the best script she read in 2020, the 29-year-old actress found it difficult to find the right note to play the character.
“Our world is so different. Jyoti’s reality is so different from who I am in real life or even the circumstance I have grown up into. The only way we could have done it right is to surrender to the script completely and that is what our director has motivated us to do,” said Malhotra.
“Honestly speaking, I had no reference point to it, so in some of the scenes in the film where Jyoti was going through some kind of trauma that I could never imagine. Those were tough moments. As an audience, we connect to Ashu and Jyoti with a lot of empathy and what I love about the whole story is, no matter how bad the situation was, they never lose hope,” she concluded.
The film is directed by Shanker Raman, produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and Drishyam Films. ‘Love Hostel’ also featuring Bobby Deol, releases on ZEE5 on February 25.