Actors Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey have finished the shooting of their upcoming film Chhapaak. Story of real-life acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, the film is directed and co-produced by Meghna Gulzar. In her latest interview with news daily, Meghna opened up on how Deepika absorbed the intricacies of her character and what is that she wants to achieve by telling this story. The director of successful films like Raazi and Talvar said that she was clear about not making Deepika look exactly like Laxmi in the film. Meghna said that her film is the story of a woman and her struggle with acceptance after she is attacked, therefore, she didn’t want the audience to see just Laxmi on-screen but Deepika should appear like every woman who is battling the same.

She told Mumbai Mirror: “I didn’t want people to watch this film with their eyes shut, the idea was not to create Laxmi’s face on Deepika but something that would be Deepika’s face had it been scarred the way Laxmi’s was.” The director added that the actor did a beautiful job playing Malti in the film. She said even though Deepika uses heavy prosthetics on her face, it’s her eyes that displays the spirit of her character. For Meghna, “Malti is Deepika and Deepika is Malti,” as the presence of the character ‘reflects the expression in Deepika’s eyes.”

The filmmaker added that Deepika had to go through a lot while applying prosthetics on her face for the film. But, she never let that struggle be visible on the screen and ‘that’s the most beautiful part.’ When asked about Laxmi’s presence on the sets, Meghna revealed that she did visit the sets of the film in Delhi and also kept in touch with the writing and the preparation team. Meghna said that Laxmi is glad about how the story is being told and everyone is focussed on telling the story from a larger point-of-view.

Talking about the change that Chhapaak is set to bring in the society, Meghna said that the film talks more about ‘awareness’ and ‘acceptance’ because a change in the society should be expected only later. Co-produced by Deepika Padukone, the film hits the screens on January 10 next year. It’s facing a big Box Office clash with Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji: The Great Warrior.