Many critics have accused Baby of being prejudicial against women, leading director Sai Rajesh to grapple with the reactions of the audience and acknowledge certain issues with the narrative.
Filmmaker Sai Rajesh's latest directorial venture, Baby, starring Anand Deverakonda, Vaishnavi Chaitanya, and Viraj Ashwin , has undoubtedly been a blockbuster hit, defying all expectations by grossing an impressive Rs 50 crore worldwide since its release last Friday. However, amid the accolades and triumph, Sai Rajesh has found himself in a state of moral and creative introspection.
Baby is a coming-of-age tale that delves into the journey of a young girl from a humble background, yet it has sparked intense debate about gender sensitivity in films. Many critics have accused the movie of being prejudicial against women, leading the director to grapple with the reactions of the audience and acknowledge certain issues with the narrative.
In an honest revelation, Sai Rajesh expressed his shock at the audience's reactions during some scenes. "During the preview, I was shocked when the audience began clapping and cheering when Anand's character uses the 'l' word (a cussword in Telugu) against Vaishnavi," the director shared with The Hindu. However, he anticipated that the audience would applaud Vaishnavi's character when she later stood up for herself and confronted the hurt caused by Anand's actions. The unexpected reaction made Sai Rajesh realize that the story may not have been conveyed in the manner he intended.
The director clarified that any inadvertent insensitivity in the portrayal of female characters was never intentional. Sai Rajesh recognized the responsibility that comes with filmmaking and vowed to be "more cautious and socially responsible" in his future projects, particularly when depicting female characters. He dismissed claims that his storytelling was influenced by films like Arjun Reddy or RX 100, attributing his inspiration to the legendary filmmakers K Balachander and Balu Mahendra, who encouraged him to explore the complexity of women characters.
"I don't know how many people watching the film understand that Anand is a flawed character. I have seen video clips of some of the audience rebuking Vaishnavi and throwing chappals on her posters. That is not the reaction I wanted," Sai Rajesh lamented.