Writer Kanika Dhillon says the economics of demand and supply is looking out for creators in Bollywood today and she believes budding scribes must ask for better packages as producers are open to giving them a good deal. Kanika, the name behind films such as Manmarziyaan and Kedarnath, has emerged as one of the most sought after screenwriters in the industry. "Right now, it's a very good time to be a creator in the industry. The economics of demand and supply is looking out beautifully for writers because writers and creators are in demand right now.
"I would urge all the other writers to please go out there and ask for better payment packages because right now is the time that all the leading producers are very open and welcome to giving you better deals and better remuneration. One should not shy away from asking," she told PTI in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
Whether it's about better payment or credits on the film's poster, writers have slowly started getting their due and Kanika said the recognition comes with a responsibility. "If you're out there and been given the responsibility or if you've been given the platform and your name is there on the poster that will also come with a sense of responsibility.
"We should not take it lightly that if people are associating your work with a certain kind of guarantee, we have to take that responsibility to work harder, and continue to strive to get newer stories and better stories and drive ourselves to be better at what we're doing."
With more women voices becoming a part of the writers room, the conversation of creating well-written female characters runs simultaneously but Kanika said she doesn't take that pressure. However, she believes the industry is gradually moving towards writing "well-rounded characters", regardless of the gender. "I organically write strong women characters but it doesn't mean I'll ignore the male characters. I don't want to take the pressure even if it is there because all my films have had both strong female and male protagonists," she said.
"But as the audiences are used to watching the male character primarily carry the story forward in the majority films, my characters stand out because there are few films where we have female characters doing that, which I think is also changing now. I think it's going to be a norm to have well-rounded characters, whatever the gender of the character be," she added.
The writer's next is murder mystery Haseen Dillruba, starring Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey. The poster of the film, directed by Vinil Matthew of "Hasee Toh Phasee" fame, shows a woman in a sari with her feet submerged in a pool of blood, with a knife lying nearby along with a what appears to be raunchy thriller novel "Vahashi" by Surendra Mohan Pathak.
"I feel both the Indian audience and filmmakers are still kind of coming in their own as they're creating new thrillers and presenting new stories of this genre. I have been a big fan of the genre. A thriller can have various colours to it, it can be a hardcore action thriller, it can take on a colour of a psychological thriller, a lot of sub genres itself.
"The idea behind 'Haseen Dillruba' was to keep quirk, entertainment, the love story and have a mysterious murder at the core so that it can be enjoyed as a thriller as well as romance. So that was the task and that was also the fun part of it," Kanika said.
This is the writer's second collaboration with producer Aanand L Rai and Taapsee after Manmarziyaan. Referring to the hit song Grey wala shade from the 2018 romance, Kanika said Taapsee's character has a "lot of red wala shade mixed with the grey wala shade". "It's been fantastic to collaborate with her again. Lot of 'Manmarziyaan' team is coming back. Amit Trivedi for music, Aanand sir as producer. It's an exciting journey because we've already done one which we enjoyed and let's hope this also wins the hearts of the audiences," Kanika said.
The writer said collaborating with Vinil was a joyride. "He is such a talented director. I've loved 'Hasee...' When he comes on board to direct my story, I'm rest assured that he's going to take it to next level," she said. The film is slated to be released on September 18, 2020. Shooting begins January.
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