Rangoon is a tribute to INA and Netaji: Vishal Bhardwaj

Film maker Vishal Bhardwaj talks about Rangoon and more.
Vishal Bhardwaj

Acclaimed film maker Vishal Bhardwaj, whose film Rangoon released yesterday (24 February), says that the film is a humble tribute to Indian National Army and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

He was present in Kolkata yesterday for the special screening of his film Rangoon. The family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose graced the occasion.

Addressing the media, he said, “The narrative in the film draws strong influence from INA (Indian National Army), which played a vital role in the freedom movement. That’s an important basis of this film. Hindi mainstream cinema has not talked much about the sacrifice of INA and Netaji. The young generation is not aware of the contribution of Netaji and INA. People have sacrificed their lives. INA hoisted the Tricolour for the first time on Indian soil in Moirang. That was a very proud moment but is an unknown part of our history. That’s also an important basis of this film.”

“It’s (the film) a humble tribute to them. It was very important to share with Netaji’s family. I am honored that Netaji’s family is here to watch the film,” he added.  

The award winning director mentioned that it’s basically a love story but patriotism plays an important role.

He quipped, “Essentially, it’s a love story with the backdrop of war. And of course, in love and war deceit happens. So, deceit is common for all three (characters played by Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut). But the main catch of the film is patriotism.”

Kangana Ranaut’s character is said to be based on Fearless Nadia, an actress and stuntwoman. When quizzed, what made him zero in on real life characters like Fearless Nadia to stitch this fiction film, he answered, “There is no basis of Fearless Nadia in this film. It’s an original story and all the characters are original. All the three characters, the girl and the two boys, are original. But yes, you will get references of 1940s like the backdrop of INA and British Raj. I have not played with the facts but have mixed them with fiction.”

Talking about his shooting experience, he commented, “Shooting experience was very good because we shot in Arunachal Pradesh, again a North East state which is a neglected place. But Arunachal Pradesh is such a beautiful place that we did not need to go to a foreign place to shoot. It was difficult to shoot this period film but we had a wonderful experience and the end result is also beautiful.”  

At the screening of the film in Kolkata, actress Lin Laishram, who played a small role in Rangoon, was also present along with Vishal Bhardwaj.

Introducing Lin to the media, he said, “Lin has played a small part but it’s a very beautiful role. We do not use North Eastern actors in our film much. Lin is a very good actress and she has done a fantastic job in the film.”

When asked if he would like to work with Bengali actors in future, he said, “I would definitely like to work with the actors of Bengal. I have many favourite actors here. I like Prosenjit Chatterjee a lot.”

“Rony (Rajatava Dutta) is also my favourite. He has worked with me in Kaminey and Ek Thi Daayan,” he signed off.

Rangoon is currently running in theatres.

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