With films like Shahid and Aligarh, Hansal Mehta has faced the wrath of certain sections of people but the filmmaker believes one should not pay attention to those trying to create unrest in the society. Addressing the ongoing Padmavati controversy, Mehta says giving importance to the extra constitutional bodies will empower them and the best way to deal with it is to avoid them.
“This has been happening for years and it keeps happening. Eventually, the law of land will prevail. These are extra-constitutional bodies that thrive on creating unrest and seeking attention to that. The more attention we give them, the more we are empowering them. So I would not like to give them any more attention. I have never been frightened,” Mehta says in an interview with PTI.
The director is currently looking forward to his next project Bose:Dead/Alive, an upcoming historical period drama web series based on the life of Subhas Chandra Bose. “The story and the entire development is done by Ekta Kapoor (producer) and her team. They took one year to write the script.
Rajkummar Rao was cast first and then I was contacted in January or February this year. “I found the script very thrilling. It is not a regular biographical film. The combination of history and mystery, about the theory around disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, is very fascinating,” he says. The show will star Rajkummar as Bose and will premiere on ALTBalaji on November 20. For Mehta, Rajkummar is one of the finest actors of this generation and it is always a pleasure to work with him.
“We have record of doing one project every year, so this was the continuation of our association. There is no second thought when Rajkummar is there (in a project). He has played this part amazingly as Bose, the preparation work he has put on — right from gaining weight, shaving off his hair, did his own research, picked up Bengali language etc, is great. And he does this much amount of work for every character that he plays,” he adds.
On this web series, the Simran helmer is a creative producer and has mentored and nurtured the project. Mehta’s intention through this web series is to let the younger audience know more about India and its leaders.
“The script was very good, the idea was how to make it appealing to the younger audience, who has not much idea about India’s past, British Raj… things which happened over 70 years ago. So the idea was to give a contemporary feel and give a world class experience on digital platform.” For Mehta, maintaining authenticity in Bose: Dead/Alive was all the more important and he insists everything that is shown in the web series is based on research that the team had done.
“After 1945 there has been a lot of theories about what happened and nobody knows even now, there is lot of mystery (about disappearance of Bose). The team has gone by theories that came out and the research that was available. So, there was fascination that you are trying to give similar representation of disappearances mystery.”
Mehta says digital medium is the future of India and he is glad to be part of this revolution. “This is the platform where filmmakers will be telling their stories on, in the future. It is a new medium. Your material is there for posterity, your material is not subjected to the weekend game or the Monday test or all the stupid parameters that the box office has created.”