Zoya Akhtar, renowned filmmaker and the creator behind “Made In Heaven” season 2, recently engaged with an Instagram user’s inquiry regarding the representation of Muslim characters in her films and shows. The user’s query seemed to reference Dia Mirza’s character, Shehnaz, in episode 6 titled “The Warrior Princess.” Zoya responded by citing a variety of notable Muslim characters from her cinematic creations.
Dia Mirza’s portrayal of Shehnaz, a woman grappling with complex emotions after her husband’s remarriage in accordance with Islamic practices, triggered the user’s query about representation. In response, Zoya Akhtar provided a list of empowering Muslim characters from her films and shows. The filmmaker highlighted characters like Zaffar Khan and Tanveer from “Luck By Chance,” Imran and Laila from “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” Farah Ali from “Dil Dhadakne Do,” and a range of characters from “Gully Boy.”
Zoya’s progressive portrayals encompassed a variety of personalities, including an advertising copywriter, a scuba instructor, a fearless doctor girlfriend, and aspiring rappers. These depictions stand in contrast to the notion of oppressed Muslim characters often portrayed in media. Zoya’s response aimed to counter the allegations and showcase a broader and more diverse range of experiences.
In a separate context, Zoya Akhtar had previously addressed claims about using excerpts from Yashica Dutt’s book and life in episode 5 featuring Radhika Apte as a Dalit bride. Zoya’s approach to incorporating characters from different backgrounds and communities emphasizes her commitment to telling multi-dimensional stories that reflect the realities of a diverse society.
“Made In Heaven” season 2, which includes characters from varying backgrounds and circumstances, continues to explore complex themes through weddings and relationships. The series features returning and new cast members, portraying diverse roles that contribute to a rich tapestry of storytelling.
As Zoya Akhtar responds to critiques with a showcase of her positive and multifaceted Muslim characters, her body of work stands as a testament to the power of inclusive storytelling in challenging stereotypes and broadening perspectives.
Sources By Agencies