Exclusive: Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on bringing the Partition to the MCU
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from Ms. Marvel episode 4.
The Partition scene in Ms. Marvel episode 4 doesn’t shy away from showing the horrors of 1947. What went into creating that chilling sequence?
I grew up listening to my grandparents’ stories of 1947 and when I was thinking about creating the Partition, I wanted it to be snatches of conversation that Kamala hears when she’s walking on the platform. And in those conversations, she feels the anguish of the families, the unfinished conversations that people were having, the nervousness people were feeling, the heartache and the heartbreak of leaving home. And I wanted to transport the audience back to 1947 through deeply personal testimonies.
A lot of filmmakers get it wrong. So how tricky was it to achieve a sensitive portrayal in a Hollywood series?
Episode 4 unleashes a lot of big stunning visuals and explains the Noor realm. What went into fleshing that out?
Well, the Noor realm is sort of this realm that Nimra Bucha who is playing Kamran’s (Rish Shah) mother and the other Clandestines have this desire to go to. They’ve wanted to go to the other side for so long. So we wanted to show a glimpse of the Noor world. What was home for them? Why do they want you to go there? Fariha and Najma’s relationship and even though Fariha was vanquished, Najma continued to feel that she could make it and has that desperation to go home which again is so universal. If you ask a displaced person what would you give to go home and they would say they’d do anything. And that’s what it is about, they would do anything to go home.
What was it like working with Farhan Akhtar and Fawad Khan?
We were working with two heartthrobs of South Asia. I think they both bring something very different into our episodes. Farhan brought this voice into the show. He was Kamala’s confidante, he basically was the wise mentor who informed her about the path that she was taking was an important one to take and he made her feel like she was a part of something bigger. And his voice was important because in essence, he became protective of her and then sacrificed himself for her.