Juni, starring Pruthvi Ambaar and Rishika Naik, is releasing in theatres on February 9
Debutant director Vaibhav Mahadev’s film Juni is based on a story that he wrote, inspired by a real-life friend. The heroine of Juni, played by Rishika Naik, is a character who has dissociative identity disorder, which means she’s Juni at times, and Mansi at others. This is something that Vaibhav had seen in his friend as well and he thought it would be interesting to write a story on that.
The idea, he says, was not to make a film on the syndrome per se, but use it to write an entertaining story. A love story seemed unique, considering that people with the disorder are usually portrayed as negative characters. Speaking to a Kannada digital channel, Vaibhav, who sought the help of a psychologist to get the nitty-gritties of characterization right, says that he made Juni because he felt it is a story that deserves to be heard. “Juni, I believe, will create awareness about mental health,” he said, adding that he’s done it in an entertaining fashion.
The film, adds Vaibhav, is his attempt at letting people know the finer details of the disorder, which is trauma induced and occurs very rarely. It will be an eye-opener for parents not only about how they are around their children, but also about who they subject them to, whether it is a relative or a friend. In casting Pruthvi as Partha, a chef who falls for Juni and then realizes she is Mansi also, Vaibhav has used his leading man as a narrator. Partha is the medium through which the story is told in Juni.
Juni is, interestingly, the name of the real-life person too who inspired Vaibhav and when she first began showing symptoms of the disorder, her family members thought it wise to try exorcism under different religions, than seek help from medicine. It is only much later that she was diagnosed by a medical practitioner.