Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah’s latest film Darlings has been garnering praise from all corners since its release on Netflix last week. The dark comedy by director Jasmeet K Reen has received critical acclaim as well as audience’s love. Many have praised the story and plot, which is full of twists and turns. Cast members Shefali Shah and Roshan Mathew spoke to Hindustan Times about one such twi that is generating a lot of buzz. Also read: Vijay Varma feared hurting Alia Bhatt in Darlings’ physical abuse scenes
Spoilers for Darlings ahead!
If you still haven’t watched the film, you may not want to read further and spoil it (a bit) for yourself. Darlings is about a mother-daughter duo called Badru (Alia) and Shamshu (Shefali Shah), who take revenge on Badru’s abusive husband Hamza (Vijay Varma) with their friend and confidante Zulfi (Roshan Mathew) helping them reluctantly. Through the film, it is implied that Zulfi likes Badru but towards the end it is revealed that he fancies not the daughter, but the mother. In a part-hilarious, part-tender scene, Shefali’s character kisses him at a crucial juncture. The unexpected nature of the kiss and how it was filmed has many got talking about how organically the film includes a kiss between an older woman and a younger man without making a big deal about it.
Talking about the scene, Shefali says, “That took me completely by surprise when I read the script. There are two moments that completely took me by surprise. One was this and one was in the end when you visit Shamshu’s past. This was unexpected. I thought, ‘hain, ye kya ho gaya’ (wow, what just happened).”
The scene takes place when Zulfi is threatening to spill the beans about the women keeping Hamza captive to the cops and Shamshu decides this is the best way to shut him up. “It’s such a sweet and delicate moment and it had to be handled that way. She does it because she wants to shut this man up because he will go and do some more nonsense now. But the way she does it took me by surprise. I think it’s a lovely moment,” says Shefali.
Roshan says that the scene has an impact because of how simply it is filmed. “Like Shefali said earlier, the impact is when you have a great line and you deliver it plainly. So, this moment just happens which is why it’s extremely impactful,” he says. The actor adds that the scene actually helped him understand his character better. “Zulfi starts making sense to me there. If you look at him, he is this boy who believes it’s very easy to be either right or wrong and I will choose to be right. Then he suddenly sees these two people that he absolutely loves do some wrong things. He is confused do I stand with them or not. So, how much love does there need to be for him to throw away his moral compass, whatever he thought was black and white and get into the grey with them. So this moment makes sense for me there,” says Roshan.
Due to its spontaneity, the scene required a few takes and at least one of them went comically wrong, recalls Shefali. “One of the shots we did, I remember I ran to him to kiss him and the bag (which she was carrying) hit my face and we both kissed the bag,” she says, laughing. The actor adds that in the end, she is happy with how tastefully the scene has been presented in the film. “It also has to do with how Jas (director Jasmeet K Reen) has captured it and Anil sir (DOP Anil Mehta) has shot it. There is no showsha to that moment. It just flows,” says Shefali.