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Exclusive! Meenakshi Sundareshwar director Vivek Soni reveals why he set the film in Madurai and more

Vivek Soni also addressed the counterpoints on the depiction of Tamils that they have been stereotyped in Meenakshi Sundareshwar.

Aishwarya Vasudevan
Nov 16, 2021
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Soon after the release of Meenakshi Sundareshwar on Netflix, a lot of discussions centered around the representation of South Indian culture in the film. Many expressed their opinions on why the film was set in Madurai, and also called out the film for the alleged stereotyping of South Indians.

OTTPlay exclusively caught up with the team of Meenakshi Sundareshwar, including Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani, and the director, Vivek Soni, for a video interview.

The trio addressed the criticism in detail and gave their thoughts on it. When asked why the film was set in Madurai, Vivek told us, "So the main reason, to be very honest with you, is that, of late, what I was seeing, so to say, every other film or show, was either based in UP, Delhi, Rajasthan, or Punjab, so I was also feeling fatigued seeing the same setup, same value. That's why I just wanted to break through that clutter. The audience wants to see something new every time, so it's also important to show them a new story based on a new place altogether."

The director went on to say, "The same love story can be narrated in UP and also Rajasthan, but as a maker, I had to think about what freshness I could bring to the audience. For me, of course, apart from the story, the location on which it's based is also really important. So, that was the reason we chose, 'Okay, let's go down South,' because, off late, we have not seen films based in South India."

On being quizzed about the counterpoints to the depiction of Tamils as being stereotyped, Vivek shared that he is absolutely fine with it.

The director said, "That's okay, it's up to them. I mean, honestly speaking, I'm at peace because this is how I wanted to make my film and I managed to make it the way I wanted. So, I'm fine now. To each his own, in a way. Now the film belongs to the audience, so if people like it or not, or if they feel something different, it's okay. To be very honest with you, it's absolutely fine. It's not affecting me at all."

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