Varun Dhawan to play a war hero in Sriram Raghavan’s biopic on Second Lieutenant Arun Kheterpalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/varun-dhawan-sriram-raghavan-arun-kheterpal-biopic-6068141/

Varun Dhawan to play a war hero in Sriram Raghavan’s biopic on Second Lieutenant Arun Kheterpal

Varun Dhawan will play Second Lieutenant Arun Kheterpal, the Param Vir Chakra holder, in Sriram Raghavan's upcoming film. The film will mark the actor-director's second collaboration after Badlapur.

varun dhawan to play war hero in sriram raghavan film
Varun Dhawan and Sriram Raghavan’s film on Second Lieutenant Arun Kheterpal will be produced by Dinesh Vijan.

Varun Dhawan is all set to reunite with Sriram Raghavan for the filmmaker’s upcoming biopic on the Param Vir Chakra holder second lieutenant Arun Kheterpal. The actor, who is collaborating with Raghavan for the second time after Badlapur, said he always wanted to play a soldier on-screen.

“Playing a soldier has always been my dream. After I heard Arun Khetrapal’s story I was honestly shocked that this could actually happen! I understood why Dinoo and Sriram were so passionate about it. And after I met Aruns brother Mukesh Khetarpal I was moved, I too have a brother and I can’t fathom what he must have gone through. This is a story which needs to be told and it’s a responsibility for us to tell it correctly.This is the most important film of my career and I’m so excited to start work with Sriram again. I hope all Indians will feel proud once they hear this story,” the actor said in a statement.

The film is said to be an ode to Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, who was honored with India’s most-prestigious and highest-standard military medal for courage and gallantry – the Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

The film marks Dinesh Vijan’s maiden biopic project. Talking about the same, Vijan quipped, “Arun Khetarpal was one of Poona Horse’s most celebrated Lieutenants. When Mukesh Khetarpal (brother) narrated his story in Delhi, we were already enamoured by his bravery but what connected me more was Arun’s equation with his father, the bond that one shares with his father is usually left unsaid. I lost my father 5 years ago and I miss him everyday, with this film I hope to shine some light on the boy who became a man, a reflection of his father. It’s a huge responsibility to make this biopic, we are indebted to the family and to the Poona Horse regiment for allowing us the honor of telling Arun’s story and we hope to make them proud.”

Sriram Raghavan has already spent over six months in researching and developing the story.

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“The courage of 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal during the 1971 Battle of Basantar is well known. I was a kid during the ’71 war but remember pasting black paper on windows during blackouts. So when Dinoo (producer Dinesh Vijan) asked me to make a film around the subject, I found it daunting initially. Movies set in wartime have always moved me, forced me to reconsider. This is a solid story told over two generations of soldiers. We hope we can do justice to it” the director said.

In the meantime, Varun is currently busy with the remake of Coolie No 1, which is being helmed by his father and filmmaker David Dhawan, opposite Sara Ali Khan.