A few weeks earlier at Homegrown, as part of #HGHeadspace, I had posed a question to our readers: How has your mental health been in lockdown and quarantine?
The responses varied from person to person and situation to situation, but an underlying theme of ‘I wish it gets better’ remained constant. Our humble project may not be the solution, but it got the conversation going.
Taking the all-important mental health dialogue forward is filmmaker Hridaye A Nagpal, with his new film ‘Step Out’, produced by Big Girl Productions and Strangelove Studios. Portraying the possible consequences of how isolation and cabin fever can impact humans, the film is one that is close to Hridaye’s heart.
“Mental health has been very important to me, and also to co-producer, Suraj Wadhwa –– it has been something that has affected us, so it was always on our minds,” says Hridaye.
While the film revolves around two independent yet somewhat entangled lives, it is successful in bringing out their own journeys with how they deal with their not-so-conducive environments. If I explained any more, I would be spilling the film’s entire premise –– that’s one for you to admire yourselves.
In Hridaye’s words: “At the end of the day, the point is to come out and talk about it –– not to bottle it up, and not think you deserve it, because you don’t.”
With a heart full of gratitude for Neha Dhupia and Dev Dutt, Hridaye emphasises just how much they contributed to the film. They poured their passion into the project and also allowed the filmmakers creative freedom, while they themselves chose to lend much of their mind to their characters.
‘Step Out’ may be a film about mental health, but more importantly, it is one to reiterate that no matter who you are, you do not deserve to struggle with it.
You can watch it on Disney+ Hotstar.
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