The Family Man creators explain the reason behind Samantha Akkineni’s dark skin make-up, and why they didn’t reveal the Lonavala plot
The Family Man series creators Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK recently explained in an interview that they did not reveal what happened in Lonavala in the series, because the audience was supposed to unravel that mystery along with ‘Srikant Tiwari’, the role played by actor Manoj Bajpayee.
The scene in Lonavala is about a business trip that Srikant’s wife, Suchi had gone on in the first season. The makers had implied in that scene that Suchi had either come close to or really cheated on Srikant with her colleague Arvind. Meanwhile, season two ends with Suchi looking like she might confess to Srikant about it.
“Till the time Srikant doesn’t come to know what happened in Lonavala, he is less troubled,” Manoj Bajpayee had told media sources. DK had said, “Part of us was also thinking that when Srikant knows, let the audience know. Not let the audience know what Srikant does not know. If Srikant suspects something, let the audience suspect that. If Srikant has his own ideas, assumptions, let the audience have it. It’s unfair for the audience to know and Srikant not to know (sic).”
Raj confessed that he had not expected so much excitement over this detail about Lonavala, and said this had forced them to make certain tweaks in the second season’s plot.
Raj was quoted as saying, “Lonavala we decided... I think there was such a misplaced excitement about it, maybe we shouldn’t answer it.” DK added, “We knew we were going to get a little bit of a bashing for this, we were aware of this.”
The creators also spoke about Samantha Akkineni’s darkened skin tone, which netizens had begun criticising, and clarified that it was not done in the context of beauty. Raj and DK said every decision had been made “in service of the character,” and that they were not “irresponsible filmmakers.”
Raj told media sources that Samantha a.k.a. Raji had to be portrayed as a weather-beaten, tough soldier, which was why they opted for a darker skin tone. He added that if they had chosen to have a character that lived in the Himalayas, they would have shown a soldier with a red face.
Raj was quoted as saying, “This whole thing comes in the context of beauty, when you’re trying to say dark skin is not beautiful and fair skin is beautiful... This is not that context, number one. There is no context of skin beauty in this. We are all shades of brown… It’s not a race thing either. These are the two contexts where it should be looked down upon, and that’s where the main problem is. And we are well aware of it; it’s not like we are irresponsible filmmakers, to propagate something of that kind (sic).”
He explained, “Here, we are trying to get the character of Raji right. We want her to speak it, we want her to look it, we want her to be that action girl who can land the punch; someone who can be physically fit and take on a guy double her size. That’s our main challenge. So if you look at what she wears... She’s a soldier, she’s a weather-beaten girl, there’s no time for worrying about self-care. If you’re a solider in the Himalayas, your face is going to be red, that’s the makeup (sic).”
Samantha, who plays the role of an extremist leader in The Family Man 2, has been facing backlash along with the creators for the alleged misrepresentation of the Tamil Eelam fighters of the LTTE. The LTTE is a guerilla organisation that sought a separate Tamil state for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka following the frequent bloodshed and oppression that the community witnessed there.
The Family Man 2 was released on Amazon Prime Video on June 4.