Wide Angle: The Ideal Bride

Wide Angle is our  books and films segment at continnect.

Today on Wide Angle, we look at The Ideal Bride, an Indian short film by Diksha Jyoti

The Story

The Ideal Bride is a 9-minute film that looks at the life of an Indian woman after marriage. She is expected to be demure, perform all her wifely duties, and do all the household chores without any opinions and responses. The story, beautifully narrated, is set within the walls of the kitchen, wherein the world of the bride is limited to after her marriage. She cooks, embroiders and even see her child in the kitchen.

A married woman is not supposed to have any viewpoint and voice (shown quite literally in this movie with a mute bride). The Ideal Bride premiered at the Mumbai International Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival this year. It was nominated in the International Shorts category both the festivals. Currently the movie is not available on any public portal, as it’s still being sent to several film festivals across the world.

To know more about the movie and the creative force behind it, continnect caught up with Diksha Jyoti, the director and writer of this short film.

continnect: What inspired you to make this movie?
Diksha:  I grew up in a small town which is far from being modern. Lives of young women around me would invariably change the moment they got married. They would no longer talk about the books they read, movies they watched, and songs they hummed. It was as if the real person was trapped with the walls of her marital home and kitchen. I think through my film I have just tried to interpret the lives of the married women in India’s small towns.

continnect: Was it a deliberate decision to set the movie within the kitchen?
Diksha: Yes. When I was visualizing the film I always saw a kitchen and the aangan (courtyard in Hindi) of a big house in my head.

continnect: It’s the 21st century, do you believe women in India are still treated as
second-class citizens?
Diksha: Yes, in most of the villages and even in metros. However, people in the bigger cities are better at hiding the ironies and bitter truths of their private lives.

continnect: Did you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
Diksha: Oh I always wanted to tell stories and become a writer. During my college days, in Delhi, I got introduced to theatre. It’s there that I developed a keen interest in movies and wanted to become a filmmaker.

continnect: Which films and filmmakers have inspired you?
Diksha: There are so many movies that I love and can watch multiple times. Emir Kusturica, Asghar Farhadi, Coen brothers, Catherine Breillat, Sriram Raghavan and Raju Hirani are my favourite filmmakers. Lately, regional movies in India like Fandry, Shala, The Court, Thithi, Gabhricha Paus have been very good. During the making and editing of The Ideal Bride, Sriram Raghavan gave me valuable feedback which helped me in crafting the story.

Madhu Gawade: The Ideal bride

continnect: Who is the actor who plays the role The Ideal Bride in the movie?
Diksha: Madhu Gawade is a dear friend who always wanted to act. As soon as I had conceived the script of The ideal Bride,  I met her and we decided to take it forward. Madhu has never lived in small towns so it was a bit difficult for her to understand the nuances of life of women living there. We held many workshops and once ready, went ahead with the shoot. We both exchanged many feedbacks and she took it as a challenge and gave her best.

Team Ideal Bride

Along with Diksha, the creative team behind The Ideal Bride include director of photography(DOP) CK Muraleedharan who has done big ticket (in Indian Bollywood) films like PK, 3 Idiots. Farooq Hundekar was the editor and Madhu Apsara the sound designer. Alokananda Dasgupta, who has already worked on diverse national award winning films like Shala and Fandry composed the background score. Madhu Gawade impressed everyone as her screen character Phuleri.

About the Director

Diksha Jyoti was born and raised in Darbhanga, a small town in Bihar, India. She moved to Delhi for her graduation, followed by a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Diksha has worked as a copywriter for TV Commercials. So there was never any dearth of ideas that had the potential of becoming stories. It was when she got a chance to assist Sriram Raghavan on the movie Badlapur, she decided to direct a short film. Like many aspiring filmmakers, Diksha too has many projects in the pipeline. She has just wrapped up, directing another short film and is editing it. Along with short films, Diksha would love to get into mainstream cinema, depending on the script she gets!

You can get in touch with Diksha here.

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