Filmmaker Meghna Gulzar who is best known for her film Talvaar which won a lot of critical acclaim in 2015 is all set with her forthcoming release Raazi. The film is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, about an Indian spy married to a Pakistani military officer during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. With actress Alia Bhatt and actor Vicky Kaushal playing the lead characters, Raazi is scheduled to release on May 11.
In an interactive session with Cinespeaks, Meghna speaks about Raazi.
When we asked as to why the film is titled as Raazi, Meghna said, “The name of the character is Sehmat which means Raazi. Also, (Kyun Sehmat Raazi Hui) for what she is doing in the film and she also explains as to why she is doing it.”
Elaborating on the patriotic song Ae Watan from the film, Meghna said, “There is a situation in the film when Sehmat (played by Alia Bhatt) is supposed to teach a patriotic song to the students of an Army school for their annual function. There is a duality in the scene because the students are referring to Pakistan and Sehmat is referring to India when they sing it. I think the beauty of a patriotic song is that anyone can sing it for their country. We have also included the lyrics “Lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri Zindagi shamma ki surat ho Khudaya meri” which is an Urdu prayer written by Allama Muhammad Iqbal. It is sung in the schools of Pakistan even today. My father (Gulzar) also used to sing this song when he was a child.”
Speaking on the characters and the casting of Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal, Meghna said, “I wanted to cast actors who could deliver a certain level of performance and both Alia and Vicky are extremely talented actors. The character of Sehmat is a 20 year old innocent girl and Alia’s physicality was perfect. She also had the required vulnerability and fragility. She had all the qualities which were needed for the character of Sehmat. On the other hand, Vicky too had the sensitivity to play the character of Iqbal who is from Pakistan. These both actors weere extremely apt for the lead characters as they both go through a tumultuous journey in the film. They both have surpassed by expectations which were very high.”
When we questioned on her favourite films of father Gulzar, Meghna said, “I like several films of my father. I love Maachis for the rawness it had and I think it was his most powerful film. I also like the way he directed the unusual storytelling of a ghost story. I love the dynamics of relationships in a film like Ijaazat. So, there are several films which I like and it is very hard to choose a few films from his filmography.”
On working with Alia Bhatt, Meghna said, “Alia is a fabulous actor and she has set the bar high for an actor-director relationship. She is extremely sure of herself and always prepared for her scenes.”