He will be seen playing Colonel Prem Sehgal in his next Raag Desh, based on Indian National Army trials, and actor Mohit Marwah says one can not take creative liberty in the portrayal of the Army. The film recreates the Indian National Army (INA) Trials or The Red Fort Trials of 1940s where Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan – officers in the British Indian Army were taken as prisoners of war in Malaya, Singapore and Burma respectively.
They were court-martialled in the capital at the trials held at the Red Fort. The three men were charged with treason and torture and even case of murder was slapped on them. “We had an ex-Army person on set constantly who was making sure our attire was correct, our postures were right. We had someone correcting us all the time, we needed to have that authenticity, you cannot play around with the ways of the Army,” Mohit told PTI.
The actor says on a personal level too, he looked out for references to play the character of the pre-independence era. “Before coming on set we had to be mentally prepared to play characters of the 1920s. I looked at my own grandfathers because they came from the same region, Lahore and Peshawar. I looked at a lot of pictures, their body language. To recreate that was very important,” he adds. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, the period film also features Kunal Kapoor and Amit Sadh. The 32-year-old actor says Raag Desh puts focus on a chapter of history which perhaps not many might be aware of.
“It’s an absolutely relevant film. This is a very important part of history which perhaps not many are aware of. That’s again a big reason to be part of such a film because there is inherently so much drama in the story that we didn’t need to add anything. “It’s informative but also very entertaining. It’s a great topic to make a film on.”
The actor, who made his debut with “Fugly”, is keenly awaiting audience’s response to the movie. “After my debut film, the kind of roles which were coming my way were more or less like my first film. As an actor, this film gave me an opportunity to step out and do something different. I made sure to give it all.”
Raag Desh is scheduled to release this Friday.