Aanand L Rai’s Raksha Bandhan has been criticised by many as regressive. In the opening scene, we see Akshay Kumar’s character call his sisters names for how they look. His main problem is how would he get the sisters married- one of whom is fat, one is dusky and the other a tomboy. Now, Smrithi Srikanth, who plays the character of Laxmi in the film, has opened up about being called ‘amavas ki raat’ in the introductory scene itself.
Addressing it, Smrithi said, “Even I have faced comments on my complexion since childhood. People used to mock and make fun of it. When I was auditioning for this character, I read the lines and felt that it is the fact. There are people who talk like ‘dhoop me mat ja kaali par jayegi (don’t step out in the sun or else you will get tan)’. They have this mentality. But, as a person, what I feel about myself is much more important than what others think.”
She added that she loved the fact that the character loves herself and said, “When I read the script, what I liked about the character is that she is very much confident in her own skin and colour. In the movie, Laxmi says ‘black is back’. She is someone who loves her colour and is very much happy with herself. Uske liye woh Kareena Kapoor hai (she considers herself Kareena Kapoor).”
Smrithi also recalled being discriminated against during her modelling days and revealed, “I remember once I felt very bad while working on a modelling project. There were some events for a brand. I auditioned for it and got selected. There were like two parts to the project and I was taken for both. Unlike me, the rest of the girls were shortlisted for only one project. Hence, I asked them to increase my pay. But, what I got from them was sad. They reverted by saying that ‘they (the unnamed brand) do not hire dusky girls. But they hired you. If you want to be a part of the project, then they will pay you less’. They basically preferred fairer girls. I literally felt bad that day, although it was some 5-6 years ago.”
Raksha Bandhan released on the 11th of August. The film has not been doing as expected at the box office.
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