Qyuki Artist
Wake Up: Director Uncut

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The idea for ‘Wake Up’ came up from various intense discussions with my writer Soumil Shetty over a period of 2 to 3 years. The state of women in society and the abuse that they go through in day to day lives was ghastly to say the least; but what was worse, was how these issues were swept under the carpet by the victims, dictated by various factors like shame, position in society, etc.

We began speaking to the women in our lives hailing from different strata of society, getting their perspective on these issues. Each story was depressing for the human spirit and we found a lot of debris and carnage left in some of these women’s lives. As our own disgust for the situation began to surface up, slowly but surely, the idea of the music video started seeding into our heads – don’t mistake her silence for compliance.

We shot the film over various locations – in the shanties of Dharavi, in the alleyways of Chapel Road, my own house and a beautiful old Parsi house in South Mumbai – to create the right kind of atmosphere for the film that portrays ‘abuse’ in all kinds of socio-economic environments. Shooting black and white was a decision that rose out of a conscious desire to underplay the ‘gore’ and ‘violence’ visually and raise its importance ‘contextually’. After all, the wounds run much deeper than what meets the eye.

Moby’s new single ‘Almost Home’ had come out around that time and upon hearing it once, it hit us that this track fits our film beautifully. The haunting sound of the vocals and the ambiguous lyrics fit the scenarios that we had created for the film and it was an instantaneous decision to incorporate the song, using it as intimately as making the characters sing in sync at different points in the film. It was a shot in the dark, but fortune smiled over us as Moby and the guys at Little Idiot Music loved the film and gave us permission to use the track.

 

The film has received a lot of positive feedback; but I hope only for this film to change the mindset of some women at least. I’d be happy to make even a slight dent in the mindset of those who think violence is tolerable.

 

– Razneesh Ghai a.k.a Razy