Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor is back to leave the audience thinking about why women are still not considered equal in army, with his upcoming web-series, The Test Case, starring Airlift actor Nimrat Kaur. During a chat with indianexpress.com, the National Award winning director spoke about what led him to take up web-series, that too tackling the issue of women in army sector. He said that he was drawn to do the film because of two reasons.
“One, I always wanted to something about army but I did not have a direction. When Samar (writer) approached me with the script I was very much excited, adding to it he told me that it has a woman in lead which would be played by Nimrat. So, I was like all of this is going very good together. And the second reason was that it happened at a very right time. It is during that time when President Pranab Mukherjee announced that the government would induct women in all military combat roles in the future,” Nagesh said.
However, he clearly states that his motive with the series is not to make the government realise the capabilities of women. “I don’t know if we have such an ambition because that’s like saying I am making an epic but I am not. I am just trying to be true and genuine with the subject I have chosen to work on. Who knows while we are working on this film, on a parallel world, a girl might be coming in the list. I think the whole purpose of the story is to be real to the world of army and also entertain. You want to make sure everything has to be honest,” he said.
To be true to a subject so fragile, one needs to do his homework well. While Nimrat had an idea about the mannerisms of an army personnel as she comes from an army background, Nagesh says Roadies star Rannvijay Singha’s family helped him to learn about the same.
“Ever since I worked with Rannvijay Singha’s family with I worked with in Mod. I became close friends with his family. I spent a lot of time with his father who just retired at LT general, chacha was major general so I spent a lot of time with army family so it is not that I have come with an outsider perspective. There is a lot of reverence when I deal with the army but having said that I want to be as honest possible,” Nagesh said.
On being asked why he chose a series, and not a film, Nagesh said that he was excited to explore the newness of the platform web-series offers. “The concept is unique, it has never ending life, our first episode will be 30 minutes. Its unexplored that’s the reason I am excited and also the challenge lies in the fact that how will I make the audience stick to the series for 10 episode.”
The web-series also stars Juhi Chawla in the role of a defense minister who looks quite a lot like Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. However, Nagesh said it was just a coincidence and no planned thing. “The idea was to bring Juhi in a cameo role but there are chances that I might extend her role later on, as the series go. I might write more scenes for her. I was looking for an excuse to work with her,” the director said.
He continued, “We don’t have a defense minister in India, so I was like why not make Juhi play the role. There was no reference to Sushma Swaraj but more importantly, I wanted to show and see Juhi in a way she has never been seen before. Many different looks she tried on but this was apt. You may call it Sushma Swaraj look but it was extremely spot on.”
The Test Case will air on ALT Balaji’s application which was launched in Delhi on April 13.