At the peak of Rumi Jaffrey’s charming spine chiller Chehre the powerful Amitabh Bachchan conveys an energizing 13-minute talk on brutality against women. It is a masterpiece that carries the plot to a limit and takes the story to another level inside and out.
“No actor in the world has delivered such a long and revealing monologue on any issue. You will be surprised to know it was Bachchan Saab’s idea. He thought it would be a good idea to elevate the debate on the issue of rape and women’s safety in the film to another more universal level, and he was right.”
And the biggest surprise of the monologue? “Bachchan Saab wrote the entire monologue himself. Not just that he performed it in one take, at the end of which all of us broke into spontaneous applause . We now intend to use that 13-minute monologue as a video on women’s safety to be distributed free of cost to all organizations devoted to creating a safe environment for women,” proclaims Pandit.
Sexual violence against women has always concerned Mr Bachchan. In an interview with me in 2016 he said, “Laws, punishments, public awareness, safety, regulations, debates and discussions shall take place aplenty, and they should. But unless we change the mind set of our countrymen, or indeed any human that indulges in such horrific, depraved, degenerate and disgusting crimes in any part of the world, we cannot expect fruitful results.”