Mumbai: Actor Pratik Gandhi says his segment in ”Modern Love Mumbai” is a sincere exploration of relationships and the many facets of love. Gandhi reunites with his ”Scam 1992” director Hansal Mehta for the short ”Baai” in the Mumbai chapter of the beloved US original anthology series ”Modern Love”.
The film features Gandhi as a gay man Manzu, torn between the love for his partner and his ailing and ever-doting grandmother, Baai. Mehta’s story, co-written by Ankur Pathak, follows Manzu’s journey of coming out, shedding inhibitions, and finding acceptance.
In an interview with PTI, the actor said he was moved by ”Baai” when he read its first draft as the film tackles the tug of war between love and fear.
”The film was meant to be sensitive and real. What truly worked for me was that there is no pretense, we are not taking any cover to portray this story– which is of love. It is the fight between fear and love.
”That is a fight which we have been reading, watching, and hearing for ages now. Fear can’t get you anywhere, love will take you places. The film elevates all these emotions, which everyone goes through,” Gandhi said.
Though the actor, a star in the Gujarati film industry, has featured in romantic dramas before, he was surprised to get a call from Mehta for ”Modern Love”, as the genre isn’t associated with the filmmaker known for hard-hitting dramas like ”Shahid”, ”Aligarh” and ”Omerta”.
Gandhi said he was ”fascinated” to know that Mehta was venturing into a romance with the anthology.
”That this story came from him and he was directing it fascinated me. He was passionate from the first call he made to me after ‘Scam’. For me, the biggest thing is to work with again and create a character that is remarkably different from what we had done before. It is complete upside down,” the actor added.
Gandhi said ”Baai”, through its conflicted lead Manzu, puts focus on the exhausting fight that people who are yet to come out with their sexuality have to put up every day against a world that treats their love as a problem.
”We see Manzu everywhere around us. His emotions are felt by everyone. The conflict that he is going through, because of the society he is surrounded by, is intriguing. Because it makes you question yourself and feel, ‘Am I wrong? Everybody is against me’. ”That’s a tremendous pressure to be in for anyone who is simply longing for love. He doesn’t want to harm anyone, he just wants to love. I was truly moved by his story,” he added.
Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, ”Modern Love Mumbai” is currently streaming on Prime Video.