Kanika Dhillon on Haseen Dilruba: There's an innocence yet rawness to Taapsee

One of the better finds in recent years, writer Kanika Dhillon has put pen to paper again to develop the Vinil Mathew-directed Haseen Dillruba. Interestingly, the murder mystery has her reuniting with Taapsee Pannu — the duo gave us the feisty albeit unconventional Hindi female lead Rumi in their last collaboration, Manmarziyaan (2018). As the unit kicks off the shoot of the crime thriller — also featuring Vikrant Massey — in Haridwar, Dhillon says that she could not envision anyone except Pannu as the female protagonist.

"I wanted to explore the themes of love, lust and crime in a single narrative. There's an innocence yet rawness to Taapsee, which was required for this character. Also, as an artiste, Taapsee is fearless in what she takes up. If you see the actors who play the characters I have written, [you'll notice] they are not averse to taking risks and pushing boundaries. This kind of uninhibited approach is inspiring for writers [like me]," she explains when quizzed about the casting.

Kanika Dhillon

It's safe to presume that the offering will have a strong-minded woman driving the narrative. Dhillon, after all, has subverted the idea of holier-than-thou heroines by giving Bollywood interesting female characters who are emotionally complex and have shades of grey. "I write about women who seem real. They are not supposed to be bracketed into sacrificial lambs, ideal wife, or sex goddesses. They can be all of these at the same time, or none of the above. They can choose to play whatever shade they want, as per the circumstance."

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