Zoya Akhtar Birthday Special: What Makes her One of the Most Celebrated Filmmakers Today
Bollywood News

Zoya Akhtar Birthday Special: What Makes her One of the Most Celebrated Filmmakers Today

Zoya Akthar is one of the few female filmmakers who don’t make feminist films on female empowerment themes alone

Zoya Akhtar has a lot to celebrate for this birthday. Her film Gully Boy  was  not only  a superhit it has gone as  India’s  official entry  to the Oscars. Yaay  to that! And  let’s raise a toast to one of India’s first female  filmmaker who doesn’t make films on feminist themes with female protagonists in the  lead. Zoya surprised  us  with her  very  first film Luck By Chance  in 2009 which  was  set in the heart  of the Hindi  film industry and featured her  brother Farhan as a struggler groping his way  through the decadence of  an industry that worships only success.

At that time Zoya had told me she didn’t want to be  predictable as a filmmaker. And she wasn’t! Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaraa in 2011 was as different  from Luck By Chance  as  Zoya from Farah  Khan. The  film, regarded as a  cult product, spurred  a  movement  across  the  country to take  self-searching  holidays  just like  Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol in the film.

Dil  Dhadakne  Do in 2017  was  to many, Zoya’s weakest film. The send-up on the Indian elite often looked more like  a homage to  the  rich and the bored than a satire. To those who were disappointed  by  Zoya’s third film, Gully Boy  this year came as a  blessed relief. Says  Zoya, “I really want to  make  my films on any  and every kind of  theme that fascinates  me. Tomorrow I may decide  to make  a film about a Mexican family. I wouldn’t be bothered with which strata of society they belong to. I want to able to seek the humanity  of my characters. I want to transcend  the  barriers  of class and  creed. The  filmmakers that I admire are those who address themselves  to the human spirit. As a  storyteller  I want to  be able to  make every kind of film.”

Commenting on his achiever daughter writer thinker activist Javed Akhtar said, “In  Zoya I see a lot of myself. I think she has a logical mind. She thinks out of the box and doesn’t get easily swayed by others’ opinions. She comes to her own conclusions in life and sticks by them” However Javed Saab feels Zoya is far more honest than he. “I must confess I am not as transparent and straightforward as she is.”

What would he like to give his daughter Zoya? I’d like to give anything he desires, and every happiness in the world. Both my children, Farhan and Zoya make me extremely happy and proud. Zoya doesn’t have one dishonest bone in her entire body. She just doesn’t lie. That’s an amazing trait. Right from her childhood, Zoya called  a spade a spade. There is a very strong sense of objectivity to her. She doesn’t give in to arguments just to maintain peace. She will make a point about what is right, and that’s it. She won’t make an issue of it. With Farhan I speak man-to-man . Obviously I can’t do the same  with Zoya. Zoya takes her own decisions. She takes my opinion seriously. I am proud to say there is no sign of my work in Zoya’s work.”

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