Men in Meerut cannot stop thinking about the new English teacher in the city Shanu Bansal (Swara Bhaskar). Neither can boys in her classroom stop fantasising about her. Women gather every day to discuss how Shanu is ruining their families and plot to take revenge. Adding to the chaos is the confusion that Shanu might be possessed by a ghost or she might have a multiple personality disorder or she may be a con woman?
This and many other questions is what Amazon Prime’s latest eight episode-long series focusses on. Hyderabad Today caught up with Swara Bhaskar for a quick Q&A.
Why do you think people should watch Rasbhari?
It’s a very engaging, entertaining and fun show. It deals with important issues like adolescent sexuality, objectifying of women and latent hypocrisies of repressive societies where we sexualise women without their consent and when they express their sexuality we feel the need to vilify them. Anyone who watches the entire series will enjoy it and will have a lot of food for thought.
How did you prepare for the role?
The shooting took place last year in Faridabad. I had a double role and I had fun playing Shanu and Rasbhari. I identified key characteristics in both and stuck to them. Shanu is a decent, straightforward and upright person throughout the show, whereas Rasbhari is a hungry and lustful woman. It worked out nicely.
With theatres being shut since mid-March, movies are directly releasing on OTT platforms. Are OTT platforms taking over theatrical experience?
People have the option to sit at home and comfortably watch movies on their phones and laptops, so why wouldn’t they opt for it? However, I don’t feel that the theatrical experience will be completely replaced. Where would young couples go for dates or celebrate special occasions? Going to theatres is also a social experience for many.
Your next, Sheer Qorma, is a LGBT romance film. Do you think the Indian audience is becoming more accepting of LGBT content?
I hope so. LGBT people have been ridiculed or made objects of comedy in a majority of Indian films. I hope we start telling better stories and represent the community in a better way.
What’s the hardest role you’ve played so far?
My roles in Nil Battey Sannata, Anaarkali of Aarah and Rasbhari.
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