Star value a brutal truth we need to accept: Taapsee Pannu on Mission Mangal poster controversy

Mission Mangal courted controversy for giving Akshay Kumar a bigger display than his female colleagues on the film’s poster.

Taapsee Pannu has a message for the critics of the first poster of Mission Mangal which courted controversy for giving Akshay Kumar a bigger display than his women colleagues: star value is a “brutal truth” that must be accepted.

Taapsee said instead of questioning the poster, people need to be the change they want to see. The actor plays Kritika Aggarwal, one of the female scientists spearheading India’s mission to send a spacecraft to orbit Mars in the film, slated to be released on Independence Day.

Akshay plays Rakesh Dhawan, a scientist, who is in-charge of the mission.

“The problem is not from this end (the film). The people who are not happy about it, they need to do something because there’s a reason behind it…The star value is such… That’s a brutal truth that we need to accept and then think that there is no point questioning it. Be the reason to change this truth,” Taapsee told PTI on the sidelines of 10th Jagran Film Festival, that concluded on Sunday.

Mission Mangal, directed by Jagan Shakti, is based on real-life scientists, who contributed to India’s first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), launched by Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) in 2013.

The 31-year-old actor said the film would have managed a good run at the box office even if the five female cast members — Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menon and her — were not a part of the movie.

“Had we, the five women actors, not been a part of this film, there would have been some impact on the collections but not that much as the content of the movie would have remained as strong as it is now. There’s already a big superstar in the film,” she said referring to Akshay.

“We five being a part of it just makes it go higher. But the box office wouldn’t have dropped even if we were not in the film. Pick up any of our films, the five ladies, add them together and compare the collection of the opening day of all those films with an Akshay Kumar movie…” she added.

At the trailer launch of the film last week, Akshay addressed the flak that the poster received, assuring the audience that Mission Mangal belongs to its female cast.

“This film belongs to these ladies and it will always belong to them,” he had said.

Mission Mangal will have its Australian premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) on Independence Day.

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