The Newsroom

July 2, 2015

Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ to be turned into film (Source: Media 247)

Rated as one of the finest young directors of the country, Neeraj Pandey is now backing yet another piece of path-breaking content – a fun love story inspired by true events that is set in the backdrop of the menace of open defecation in our country. Neeraj’s company, Friday Filmworks, is teaming up with Vikram Malhotra’s Abundantia Entertainment to jointly produce this innovative film. Vikram has been associated with superhit, progressive content in the past with films like ‘Kahaani’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘Special 26’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘OMG’, ‘Queen’ and the recently released, ‘Baby’.

The title of the film brings an instant smile to your face and when you realize its perspective, the curiosity only gets higher! The backdrop of the film is a love story that is intermingled with the life and travails of millions of Indian women who are forced to defecate in the open, before sunrise and after sunset, due to the lack of covered and proper toilet facilities in the country.
According to UNICEF reports, around one third of women in the country, primarily in villages, still defecate in the open, leading to health issues, crime against women and overall hygiene concerns. The issue has reached such proportions that Narendra Modi focussed on the same in his first address to the nation as Prime Minister on Independence Day last year. The Government has committed huge funds and serious attention to its ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ and rates it as one of their top priorities.

Derived from true events, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is a satirical and comic take on this serious issue. What happens when two people in love cannot be together because of the lack of a toilet in the house? In recent times, multiple newlywed brides in India have left their husband’s homes because they lacked a toilet. Six brides, reports the Times of India, returned to their parents’ homes in protest and vow not to go back until their in-laws get proper defecation facilities. The film is set to take this thought forward and the producers aim to present this subject in a light-hearted yet effective manner.

Says Shital Bhatia of Friday Filmworks, “The one line of this film is simple, ‘Log pyaar mein apni biwi ke liye Taj Mahal banwate hain, ye kahani uss aadmi ki hai jisne apni biwi ke liye toilet banwaya! This story is also about a broad-minded girl who awakens the dignity amongst the women around her and together they attempt to force social change. It’s a love story in a never-seen-before setting.”
Vikram Malhotra adds, “Rarely do you come across a concept and a script that has a social message woven into it in such an entertaining manner. The story of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is funny, heart-warming, entertaining and hugely impactful. It’s the kind of movie that today’s youth will easily relate to.”

Penned by writing duo Garima – Siddhartha (of Ram-Leela…), the film is set to go on floors later this year. The producers even aim to shoot at real locations so that they can bring the authenticity of the backdrop alive.

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