She is set to make her debut with Dhadak, the Hindi adaptation of critically-acclaimed Marathi film Sairat that explored the themes of caste divide and honour killing, and Janhvi Kapoor says the movie is a cut above mainstream Bollywood which has mostly “glorified” the conflict.
Janhvi, daughter of late actor Sridevi, says the Shashank Khaitan-directed film, in which she plays a girl belonging to the erstwhile royal family based in Udaipur, is set against the backdrop of class divide.
Janhvi, 21, says Dhadak is not a typical Bollywood saga that whitewashes the “harsh reality” that is still relevant.
“… I feel up until this point, a lot of films in mainstream Bollywood have glorified that divide. Because it creates a sort of conflict – that ‘I can’t live without the love of my life’. I feel they have glorified that divide a little bit.
“But I think, it should be condemned and with Dhadak, we have set out to condemn it. That it’s a harsh reality. Dhadak is not a Bollywood saga that ends with either the parents agreeing or typical, magnificent ending. It’s an ugly truth,” she said.
Janhvi says for some reason, monetary value is often brought into the dynamics of love and emotion.
“We found that very strange,” she adds.
The actor remembers discussing the class divide with Khaitan and says going into the film, it was a “pressing issue” to deal with.
“I remember Shashank and I talking about how classism is prevalent not only in the lesser-educated sections of the society but also in the well-educated strata,” she says.
Janhvi says her character, Parthavi, is stronger than her real self.
Comparisons with Rinku Rajguru’s Archie, the female lead of “Sairat” are unavoidable but the actor is already prepared herself for that.
“Archie’s character was so inspiring to a lot of young girls. She didn’t have to be saved. I’m fortunate to play Parthavi. She’s also assertive like Archie, but a lot of that comes with her sense of pride and responsibility that she belongs to an effluent royal family,” she says.
Her co-star Ishaan Khatter is relatively more experienced, having made his debut with Majid Majidi’s “Beyond The Clouds” early this year but he never tried to impose.
“I feel one film is worth a number of experiences, not only as an artiste but also as an individual that helps you channel a plethora of emotions. It’s only going to be good for me and the film. I know Ishaan has helped me react well on screen but he never tried to impose. I learnt a lot from him.”
Dhadak releases this Friday.