Meghna Gulzar on Raazi's release in Pakistan: Cultural exchanges should not be driven by politics

May 9:Meghna Gulzar has time and again picked stories which are inspired by true events and that real life authenticity resonates in her films too. Her last movie Talvar had left a deep impact on the audience showing them the other side of the Arushi Talwar murder case. Now, her latest project Raazi looks no different. The film, which has actors Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal as the main leads, is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka's novel Calling Sehmat. It narrates the story of an Indian spy married to a Pakistani military officer during the1971 India-Pakistan War.
In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Meghna talks about the challenges of adapting a book and how she gravitated towards making films based on true stories.
This is the first time you've adapted a book. How did you approach the script?
The attempt should always be to take the written word forward, which is what I did with my approach to the film. Now how this film happened is another story altogether. The strange thing is that the book and the story came to me from two different places. The talks between Harinder Sikka and the production house were not coming through. While I was developing my own scripts, the script came my way again. Somehow something connected that there is a reason that the story is coming to me and I should take it up. I met Harinder Sikka and we had a conversation. He said, 'Look, I don't know who will produce the film, but I am very sure that I want only you to direct it.' And I told him that if he trusts me so much with the material then he should let me develop it and colour a cinematic story out of the book and take it to the studio. So I did that and took it to Junglee Pictures and Priti Sahani, as she was the first one to tell me about this book. So taking the script to her was morally the right thing to do.
When you read the book, the most powerful thread in the book is the journey of this girl, Sehmat. Where a decision is made for her, by her parents and that she is married off into a Pakistani military family and sent across the border where she becomes the eyes and ears of India. Apart from that, there is her backstory, her parents' backstory and whatever happened after that like an epilogue. But when you have to make a film, you have two and a half hours and to tell your story in the best way, you have to focus on the most important part of the story to be able to do justice to it and tell it in the best way possible. That was my only guiding principle in pulling out this main thread from the book. Agencies
Source: Agencies


  
  

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