After the blockbuster hit Raazi, filmmaker Meghna Gulzar is all set to helm a biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who was chief of the Indian army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The film will be produced by Ronnie Screwala, who has been wanting to work with Meghna for a while now.
Manekshaw had a career of five decades and was there for five wars as a significant part of the Indian army. Meghna is excited about working on the project.
“It’s bitter-sweet, moving from one film to the next, but it’s always a pleasure to tell a story that has grabbed your attention instinctively. The life that the Field Martial has lived is vast and rich so it’s quite daunting to be able to do justice to it in two hours on celluloid. Ronnie approached me sometime in 2015 saying that he wanted to work with me and I felt flattered because I look up to his work. We didn’t even have a subject back then but over conversations, the idea of a film on Sam Manekshaw came up. I leapt at the idea,” Gulzar said when asked about the project.
“We are currently in the early stages of writing while research has been on for a year because it’s an exhaustive subject. I only started internalising the material when Raazi was going into post-production. The film requires tremendous prep. One part of the film will be set in the era of the ’71 war which is fairly familiar for me right now but otherwise it’s a whole new world,” she added.
Producer Ronnie Screwala said that he is backing the film as he feels India needs more role models. “I have always felt that India lacks role models. When it came to Sam Manekshaw, it’s a story that must be told and it’s not only about him being India’s first and only field marshal or being at the forefront of the wars we fought against Pakistan, but also about it being an inspirational story. I am also related to the Manekshaws from my wife’s (Zarina Mehta) side. Meghna and I were talking about how I loved what she did with Talvar, so when we got Sam Manekshaw’s story on the table, it took her a few seconds to say that it is what she would like to do after Raazi,” said the producer.