Kiran Rao’s 10-Year writing journey culminates in ‘Laapataa Ladies’

After a decade of writing, Kiran Rao returns to the director’s chair with ‘Laapataa Ladies’, blending humor and social commentary in a tale set in 2001 rural India.

Kiran Rao’s 10-Year writing journey culminates in ‘Laapataa Ladies’

(Photo : File Photos)

Following her acclaimed work in ‘Dhobi Ghat’, director and producer Kiran Rao ventures back into filmmaking with ‘Laapataa Ladies’. As Kiran engages in promoting her latest endeavor, she candidly discusses her directorial comeback and the enduring relevance of a narrative set and writing in 2001.

In an interview with ANI, Kiran shared, “My journey persisted and for a decade or more, I dedicated myself to writing. Crafting tales for films and even for OTT series consumed my time. However, none of them left me entirely satisfied.”

“Dhobi Ghat” coincided with the arrival of motherhood for me. I found immense joy in this new role, and time seemed to slip away unnoticed. Yet, I persisted in writing. Collaborating with Aamir Khan Productions and contributing to the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival became integral parts of my life. Yet, the yearning to direct a film lingered, hindered only by incomplete scripts.”


She continued, “In 2018, Aamir stumbled upon this script while judging a screenwriting competition. He was captivated by its narrative. This script, penned by Biplab Goswami, had won the second prize. I recognized it as my own. However, six years had passed since its inception.”

Also Read: Aamir Khan rejected! Kiran Rao chooses Ravi Kishan for Laapataa Ladies

The storyline of ‘Laapataa Ladies’ revolves around two newlywed brides who find themselves estranged from their families, with a chance incident altering their fate. Kiran has delicately woven elements of humor and optimism into the narrative to tackle significant social issues and empower women.

However, the original story possessed a darker, more realistic tone, in contrast to the comedic and hopeful essence of the film.

Explaining the transformation in writing, Kiran said, “Upon meeting writer Sneha Desai, I sensed the potential for adaptation. Biplab’s narrative was compelling but leaned heavily on realism. I believed injecting humor was essential given the satirical nature of the situation. Sneha masterfully infused the twist with humor, for which she deserves full credit. Divyanidhi Sharma’s portrayal of Shyam Manohar (played by Ravi Kishan) added depth to the characters.”

“The challenge lay in addressing societal issues subtly, through comedy. We aimed to avoid overt lecturing, allowing the audience to grasp the underlying message organically. Comedy served as a vehicle for conveying our thoughts effortlessly,” she added.

Set in 2001 Madhya Pradesh, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ transports viewers to a time when mobile phones were a luxury, and technology had yet to permeate every aspect of life. Despite the temporal setting, Rao believes the story remains universally relatable. “Emotions and aspirations know no bounds,” she remarked.

Regarding location selection, Rao shared, “Given the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, we relied heavily on scouting tapes. Fortunately, Madhya Pradesh offered a plethora of suitable locations. The state’s supportive infrastructure and untouched rural landscapes provided an ideal backdrop for our narrative.”

“The authenticity of the setting was crucial. We sought rustic, quaint villages that mirrored the simplicity of our story. Maharashtra served as the backdrop for our train sequences, shot primarily in Nashik district,” she added.

Also Read: This is how Aamir Khan discovered ‘Laapataa Ladies’ script

Starring Ravi Kishan, Pratibha Ranta, Sparsh Shrivastav, and Nitanshi Goel, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ boasts a blend of established and emerging talent.

Reflecting on the casting process, Rao remarked, “Balancing established and new talent posed a challenge. However, Aamir and I believed that casting relative newcomers who embodied their characters would enhance the film’s authenticity and immerse the audience in its world. Aamir’s meticulous planning and design were instrumental in achieving this.”

Presented by Jio Studios, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ is directed by Kiran Rao and produced by Aamir Khan and Jyoti Deshpande.

Set against the backdrop of rural India in 2001, the film follows the journey of two young brides who are separated during a train journey, prompting police officer Kishan to launch an investigation.

The film received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival and is helmed by a team renowned for their past successes, including ‘Delhi Belly’, ‘Dangal’, and ‘Peepli Live’.

Produced under the banners of Aamir Khan Productions and Kindling Productions, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ features a screenplay by Biplab Goswami, with Sneha Desai handling the screenplay and dialogue, and Divyanidhi Sharma contributing additional lines.

‘Laapataa Ladies’ is slated for release on March 1. (ANI)