Want to Play Impactful Roles: Dia Mirza

Mumbai, Oct 13. Actor Dia Mirza says a woman doesn’t need to rebel against her cultural roots to achieve empowerment. She believes that the portrayal of progressive females as bold doesn’t accurately represent the “vast majority” of women.

Dia Mirza’s latest movie, “Dhak Dhak,” which was released in theaters nationwide on Friday, showcases the aspirations of a culturally-rooted Indian woman. She feels that a specific language and tone have been assigned to women who are depicted as progressive, but this doesn’t define the majority of women who are seeking agency and empowerment.

In an interview with PTI, Mirza stated, “It (the film) is so important for the rest of those women who don’t use foul language, who are not overt, who are rooted in culture but are still seeking agency and empowerment. This is the story that will give those women the opportunity to say that.”

At this stage in her career, Dia Mirza wants to play impactful roles. She said, “I want to be part of stories that make a difference. Like ‘Kaafir’ (her 2019 OTT series), it was a role of a lifetime. It was such a powerful story, written with such nuance. It shaped my journey as an artist. I was waiting for years to find something like that. Then we also have something like ‘Dhak Dhak’ for the big screen.” The film also features Ratna Pathak Shah, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanjana Sanghi, and follows their biking expedition filled with emotions, adventures, and self-discovery.

Dia Mirza emphasized that the film doesn’t depict women rebelling against their culture and roots. She said, “The most beautiful thing about it is that in order to show progressive women, we have not used the device of making them defiant of culture and their roots. They are rooted in their culture yet they are the ones who are seeking agency and are out to find themselves.”

Mirza also discussed the limited attention and significance given to female characters in commercial projects, where they are often used as decoration. She said, “We are constantly put in boxes and constantly stereotyped. Most of the films were patriarchal. Women for the most part in mainstream commercial films were largely window dressing, there was just so little emphasis or importance paid to those parts.”

It took Mirza 23 years to find a story like “Dhak Dhak.” The film, directed by Tarun Dudeja and co-written by Parijat Joshi and Dudeja, is produced by Viacom18 Studios in collaboration with Taapsee Pannu and Pranjal Khandhdiya’s production company Outsider Films in association with BLM Pictures.

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