Abhishek Kapoor directorial Kedarnath hit screens today. Starring Sushant Singh Rajput, the film marks the debut of Sara Ali Khan. One of the few films made on a natural disaster (2013 Uttarakhand flood), Abhishek shared that he wants to pass the message of humanity and oneness through Kedarnath.
“The incident took away so many lives and many also went missing. It was not an ordinary number. The scale of the disaster was huge in comparison. But sadly, in our country, there is a disparity between poor and rich people’s death. It was mostly the lower-middle class people that lost everything in the flood, so no one talks about it. When someone goes to see Kedarnath, I want them to experience the calamity and feel the pain. Also, I want them to understand who we are as a nation. Above all religion, if one can sacrifice for mankind or help another, I think that’s where the real goodness lies. I would be happy if I am able to pass these messages through my film,” shared the filmmaker in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
The director had launched his Kedarnath lead actor Sushant Singh Rajput in Kai Po Che. When asked how much has the actor changed over the years, Abhishek said, “He is pretty much who he used to be. He has just become a star, a more recognised face. Sushant continues to be a diligent and hardworking actor. Before Kai Po Che, he was doing TV so he has been a professional from the beginning. I remember even on the first day of Kai Po Che, he came well prepared. Sushant still has the same energy and enthusiasm.”
Talking about Sara, he shared, “I wanted to cast an established actor for the part but the dates couldn’t work out. I think that’s how newcomers come on board. But when I met her, she took to the story really well. Sara has no acting experience and we had to get her to do everything from scratch. It’s a challenge to make a film of this scale and then groom an actor. But I must add, Sara is a very bright girl. She understood the magnitude of the film and what we wanted to achieve. She took it upon herself and has given her 100 percent to Kedarnath.”
We further asked Abhishek if Sara’s lineage added to the pressurer. He said, “Oh, it’s always a pressure when you work with newcomers. But it was not about Sara’s background. She is a part of my film. So it’s about the prestige and reputation of my project. I had to make sure she looks the part and becomes the character. I think nothing can be more important than the film.”
Lastly, sharing his emotions about the release of the film, the director said, “I am never nervous before my release. I know I have worked hard and it’s done now. The film is now standing on its own feet. Yes, the box office is a different ballgame altogether. But I have no regrets and have given Kedarnath all my love and sincerity. I don’t think I could have given it anything else.”
Kedarnath has been bankrolled by Ronnie Screwvala’ RSVP Movies and Guy in the Sky Pictures.