Producers support filmmaker Karan Johar Meenakshi SundareshwarSaid on Thursday that the Madurai-set film starring Sanya Malhotra and Abhimanyu Dassani does away with regional stereotypes.
Last week, a section on social media criticized the film’s teaser for showing a conservative representation of South Indians.
At the film’s trailer launch on Thursday, debutant director Vivek Soni said that he intended to make a Hindi film, but without turning anything into a caricature.
“We have made a Hindi film set in Madurai. I could have made the entire film in Tamil, but then it would have become a regional film, which would not be a bad thing as we have some great films out there.
“I essentially wanted to make a Hindi film. We didn’t want the characters to be accentuated, as it would have been stereotypical. It looks like you are making fun of the language. There are some Tamil words to add character flavor,” The director told reporters.
Malhotra’s character in the film is Meenakshi, a staunch Rajinikanth fan.
When the teaser was released, some Twitter users had felt using the megastar’s name to establish that a character is from Tamil Nadu, sporting a “North Indian” gaze.
But Sony said that was not the case.
“When we talk about Rajinikanth sir, I think, I know there are a lot of great actors in the south like Ajith, Suriya, Vijay, but for me personally, after MGR, someone is bigger than Rajinikanth. Not a superstar.
“She is my personal favourite, which is why we chose Meenakshi to follow Rajni sir,” he added.
The Netflix romantic comedy follows the journey of a young couple, Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, who are in a long-distance marriage.
The film is supported by Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment.
The film’s co-producer Somen Mishra said that people should not jump and run from the gun before watching the film.
“Meenakshi Sundareswarar has been created with a loving, sensitive lens,” Mishra said.
“For a first time filmmaker, it takes 10-15 years for them to be able to make their first film. So it is important for us to understand what their vision is, and where they are coming from.
“His love, passion and honesty make up his eyes, and it may not be exactly what previous filmmakers have done in their films,” he said.
Co-written by Soni and Arsh Vora, the film will premiere on Netflix on November 5.