BY MANSI M., TORONTO:
India’s feature film Thank you for Coming, got a standing ovation at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Amidst cheers and applause, the audience wholeheartedly embraced the stars from Bollywood, most notably renowned actor Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire, Dil Dhadakne Do) and Bhumi Pednekar, the lead in the film.
Presented at Roy Thomson Hall as a Gala Premiere at TIFF, the red carpet was surrounded by hundreds of people as they waited patiently for a glimpse of the stars. A huge cheer went up as Kapoor arrived, accompanied by a bhangra group and dhol, driving the crowds berserk with excitement. The lead of the film Pednekar also arrived with the rest of the gang including audience favourite Shehnaaz Gill and influencers Dolly Singh, Shibani Bedi and Kusha Kapila, looking chic and gorgeous in their attire. Accompanying them was producer Ektaa Kapoor and director Karan Boolani.
The story of the film revolves around Kanika Kapoor (Pednekar) who at 32, is a smart, successful and respected food blogger in Delhi. She has spent her entire adult life seeking a satisfying love match. But never been able to have an orgasm. This becomes so damaging to her self-image that she is about to throw away her dreams of a fairy tale romance and settle for a devoted but painfully dull suitor. She finally has an orgasm but now she needs to know who got her there. The search for the truth causes her go on a journey to all her suiters until she discovers she herself is responsible.
Meanwhile, her mother, a gynaecologist, who is a single mother, tells her that the key to happiness is herself, and that 70 per cent of women have never had an orgasm as 90 per cent of men don’t know how to do it.
While the film deals with a mature subject, it is dealt very light heartedly in the film, drawing a lot of laughter. Pednekar, who has been acting for just 7 years and has won 26 acting awards, brings her comic timing to play as she performs the role of Kapoor.
“The female pleasure be it sexual, be it work, choosing yourself is considered bad,” says Ektaa Kapoor, producer of the film. “Whenever you choose yourself in life, the sacrifices supposedly is the best virtue in a woman. This is about a woman choosing herself, choosing her own pleasure and realizing that the validation she expects from the outside world, boys especially, is not important. Happiness is in your own hands.”
First time feature director Boolani says it was very important to tell the story and the girls in the star cast bonded very well with each other.
“There were several story sittings,” said director Karan Boolani. “I was lurking on the outside and I was hearing them laugh and cry, high five each other and it felt like they were so honest with themselves in the process. It felt like I made it in their WhatsApp group.