We'll probably say this again and again: Deepika Padukone should just become Bollywood's new spokesperson for... everything.
The actress has lent her voice to a powerful new short film directed by Homi Adjania ('Finding Fanny', 'Being Cyrus') for Vogue India's #VogueEmpower initiative. The two-and-a-half minute video, which was uploaded on Saturday evening, has gone viral, having already accumulated 800,000 views and counting in less than 24 hours.
The video features 99 women from all walks of life, including personalities such as actress Nimrat Kaur, filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, and film critic Anupama Chopra, reacting to words spoken by Padukone, which stresse about the importance of her — and by association, every woman — having a choice and the right to exercise it.
In a sombre-but-firm voice-over, Padukone speaks about the need to respect a woman's choice pertaining to everything from the clothes she wears to her sexual relations. "My choice... to marry, or not to marry. To have sex before marriage. To have sex outside of marriage. To not have sex," she says, in one of the film's boldest statements.
Her voice-over was penned by film writer Kersi Khambatta, who has written both of Adjania's films, while the black-and-white video has been shot by cinematographer Tassaduq Hussain ('Omkara', 'Kaminey').
This video comes a week after Padukone openly spoke out on national television about her ongoing battle with depression, an illness that, in India, is rarely dealt with the pragmatism it deserves.