The film Maja Ma hits the right chord while projecting the acceptance process of people who do not want to comply with social norms and instead live life at their own pace and beliefs. The film, which surfaces the challenges faced by an elder closeted member of the LGBTQIA+ community, had actors Madhuri Dixit and Simone Singh on board to bring the conversation to life on screen through the subtle projection of indication, acceptance and shared understanding.
Madhuri Dixit and Anand Tiwari discussed with SheThePeople the significance of normalising underlying conversations around the LGBTQIA+ community and how acceptance is the way forward to show relentless support.
Madhuri Dixit, Anand Tiwari Discuss Maja Ma, Its Spirit Of Acceptance And Diversity
Madhuri Dixit Anand Tiwari discuss their intent behind Maja Ma’s central theme
To carry a subject around a closeted woman, who is a wife and a mother residing amidst society and complying with the social norms, was challenging for the filmmakers because it hadn’t been done before. Director Anand Tiwari tells us that it was more challenging because they wanted to do justice to the formidable stories of the elderly who face obstacles in society because of their sexual orientation.
Tiwari recalled how before filming began, he and his team conducted extensive research on the subject, and their main takeaway was the importance of acceptance. As a filmmaker, he began to understand that acceptance was most important to persons struggling with the taboo of owning their sexual orientation that society does not approve of. According to Tiwari, what gave the plot a solid foundation was the idea that if the people who matter to you accept you, the job is done.
“Before the filming, we began talking to several experts around the topic and initiated expanding this discourse to folks who are living a dual life, whether in their marriages or otherwise.” -Anand Tiwari
Tiwari remembered a period when he recognised the difficulties the LGBTQIA+ community’s older generation experiences in coming out to their family and society. He added how it is still easier, if to a lesser level, for younger individuals to come out to their families in general today. Tiwari learned that several people come out to partners, but it’s merely an agreement between them that is kept a secret. His research provided insight into older people’s difficulties for generations. “We began talking to several experts around the topic and initiated expanding this discourse to folks who are living a dual life, whether in marriages or otherwise,” he explains.
Madhuri Dixit, who played the character of a woman who hides her sexual orientation and lives a life following societal expectations, shared her thoughts on the same. She acknowledged she has never played such a part before. “Normalising the LGBTQIA+ community discourse at the familial level will lead to greater conversations about it. It starts with a conversation,” she explains. The more we talk about it, she adds, as we do in our film, “the closer we will reach that degree of acceptability as a society.”
“We’re simply showing acceptance through our film. Accept people and love them for who they are, not for whom you want them to be. That’s the message we want to spread.” – Madhuri Dixit
Maja Ma‘s plot does not include railroading people into believing in a specific set of views; rather, it attempts to promote the message of acceptance. Extending on how they planned to bring this topic to life, Dixit states, “We’re trying not to tell people what’s good and bad. Through our film, we are simply demonstrating acceptance. Accept and love people for who they are, not whom you wish them to be.”