‘Raazi’ writer thrilled to work on Meghna Gulzar’s next

New Delhi: “Raazi” writer Bhavani Iyer is excited to work with filmmaker Meghna Gulzar again on the biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. She says the project comes with a promise of pushing “every limit of storytelling”.

“I am working again with my dear friend and creative soulmate Meghna Gulzar on our next film that is based on the life of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw,” Iyer told IANS.

“It is a delightful and phenomenal subject that promises to push me to every limit of my storytelling boundaries and then some,” she added.

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the army chief during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

Talking more on her upcoming projects, Iyer said: “I have written a spy thriller for Nikkhil Advani that is deeply political and tells a remarkable story of the geo-politics of our subcontinent.

“I am writing a show for Netflix with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment based on the book ‘The Bard of Blood’. There’s another show for Amazon that’s beginning. There are a few other interesting things in the pipeline that I am very excited about.”

Iyer started her career with advertising and then moved to journalism. She forayed into Bollywood as a screenwriter with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Black” and collaborated on the screenplays for Bhansali’s “Guzaarish”, Vikramaditya Motwane’s “Lootera” and the Indian adaptation of “24”.

Iyer believes the audience is “deeply instinctive and reacts to the conviction of a narrative”.

“I would like to think that people fall in love with a character, whether the character is male or female is only incidental. The protagonist in my first movie ‘Black’ was a woman too. It was Michelle McNally’s story and it was loved just as much.

“That said, yes, I do think that the playing field is getting a little more level when it comes to movies driven by women, whether it is actors or directors or women writers.”

She pointed out that for a long time, “a woman-centric film or a film driven by a team of women in our industry was always meant to be a niche, atypical, artistic fare”.

“But there are so many women artistes – writers, directors, actors and producers and in so many other roles of filmmaking — that one is able to subvert age-old gender roles, on-screen or behind the scenes. With the kind of acceptance and love that ‘Raazi’ has received, I feel deeply heartened that we don’t need to give in to ‘masala’ or keep second guessing what the audience wants or pander to what has been accepted as standard templates one needs to follow.

“All you need to do is tell a story honestly and to the best of your ability,” added the writer, who is elated about her novel “Anon” getting published.