After backing films such as Ankhon Dekhi (2014), Masaan (2015) and Newton (2017) as a producer, Manish Mundra donned the director’s hat for Siya. The film focuses on the gangrape of a 17-year-old girl hailing from a small village and her fight for justice. While the subject is dealt with the utmost sensitivity, Mundra leaves the film’s ending open to interpretation.
While the fight for justice continued, the film brings a shocking twist which leads to the film’s end. The director leaves viewers to decide the end with a surprising turn. In a recent sit-down with News18.com, we couldn’t help but ask Mundra the reason behind choosing to leave the ending open as against offering a satisfactory ending. The director explained that though a scene in the courtroom was shot in which the rape victim gets justice, he and the film’s editor Manendra Singh Lodhi felt that the open ending would have more impact on the viewers.
“The objective of the film was not to send the audience back home saying everything is hunky dory. The objective of the film was to send back the audience very disturbed and intrigued. That’s where we decided to end the film with an open ending so that audience should feel, ‘why not we get justice.’ It is not that we did not shoot the courtroom drama. We had a shot where we filmed the courtroom drama where the judge is proclaiming the decision. But I felt not to add that and our editor also felt that it should be removed and leave the film open-endedly because that’s where the major crescendo was happening,” he said.
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“That’s where the point the audience was really, really, really wanting justice to be delivered and we stopped there. So that I think is going to disturb the audience at a point where we think they will go back home and think. That’s also why I think the movie will stay back with the audience for a longer time,” he added.
Siya marked Mundra’s debut project as a director. It is no surprise that he opted for a serious subject like this as his debut directorial project, given his work on Masaan and Newton. Speaking about helming Siya, Mundra explained, “It is the incidents which have been happening and as we are talking, it continues to happen. Crimes against women, especially rape cases are increasing — and we are talking about just reported cases, 90 percent of the cases are not even reported — so you can imagine the situation where we are in and that’s why it’s very important that we talk about the subject, talk about the pain, talk about the reality and create something which will force everybody to experience the harrowing journey of this girl. And I was lucky enough to get a great team and great actors.”
He added that his family, especially his daughter, had such positive reactions to the film. “I have a 20-year-old daughter. When we were writing the script, I made her read the script — she is a student at a film school. She was very, very affected and she said, ‘Papa, tell this story very well.’ In fact, she came on the sets as well during the shoot.”
Siya is now in theatres.