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Raj B Shetty Exclusive | 'Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye is an important exploration'

Raj B Shetty talks to OTTplay about the idea behind Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye and how a random phone call triggered a story out of him

Raj B Shetty Exclusive | 'Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye is an important exploration'
Raj B Shetty as Aniketh in 'Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye'

Last Updated: 01.52 PM, Nov 22, 2023


For Raj B Shetty, Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye was born out of a random phone call he got about a year and a half ago. He tells OTTplay that it was from a married woman whom he barely knew and had probably met for not longer than 10 minutes, that too along with a friend. The phone call was an interesting one, no doubt, because what transpired in those couple of minutes would inspire Raj to make a film out of it.

Something about what the woman tried communicating but potentially failed at, something about her being married for close to 15 years and her plight of still not being able to confide in her own husband and something about this ordeal that most women face resonated with Raj B Shetty. 

To know more about what exactly that conversation on the phone entailed, watch the video below from 5:47 to 7:18:


"I was recently reading Marlon Brando's book which talks about how artists must never give up on being sensitive. In a sense, if they are wounded, the ability to feel and endure the pain must not leave them - and in case you have lost that ability, it doesn't mean you are strong but rather that you have lost that sense of aliveness in you. Similarly, something very deep about that phone call began to trouble me," he says.

It was as though that call, that brief conversation with the woman, served as a trigger to Raj who shares that he began to relate her situation, her helplessness with that of all the women he has known his entire life. 

"Don't you think, as a man, you say to yourself that your mother, your grandmother or any woman dear to you deserve a lot better? We see this a lot around us - a woman is first married off and then once she has children, people around her deem her life to have come a full circle. Why is it so? Does it mean they are done with their lives? Don't they boast personal aspirations anymore? Or is it that they do not need companionship anymore? And when was the last time we spoke to the women in our life about all this? I suppose these questions have bothered me since I was a child," adds Raj.

Raj B Shetty then cites the example of his own Granny who, he believes, tragically never had the pleasure of seeing the 'happiest day of her life'. The same loneliness, the lack of companionship that he refers to previously is perfectly exemplified by her, he says. 

"First, she had to take care of her husband who was unwell from a very young age. This also meant that she had to own the responsibility of taking care of her kids and even when those kids grew up, she didn't find that peace. I mean, what is that life and don't we all think someone like her deserved a lot better? But if her husband, my Grandfather, whom I have never seen, were to be found in the same situation, I suppose he would have more outlets to feel better. He could have stepped out to speak to his friends, maybe, but my Granny never had that opportunity." 

"And it isn't just about her but so many other women I have known over the years. All these thoughts, the answers to these questions came to a culmination, of sorts, with that phone call which ultimately led to a story named Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye. I don't mean to say that just because I have written this story, I have understood all the problems and have stepped beyond all of them. What I mean to say through this film is that it is my problem and also society's, so let's explore. We might not feel like Gentlemen and instead feel a little uncomfortable, but it is very important we do that," says Raj B Shetty before signing off.

Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye stars Raj B Shetty in the lead role along with Siri Ravikumar. The cast also includes Balaji Manohar, JP Thumminad, Gopal Deshpande and others. The film marks the production debut of Ramya under the home banner of 'Applebox Studios' - you can watch the trailer here:

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