Vicky Kaushal says it would be unfair to call his next Raazi, a film based on 1971 War between India-Pakistan, as the movie explores much deeper themes in its narrative. Raazi is the story of Sehmat, played by Alia Bhatt, who crossed the border in 1971 as an Indian spy after she gets married to a Pakistani military officer Iqbal (Vicky) to extract classified information.
“The film is not just about India-Pakistan war, it is much deeper than that. It is about an individual relationship. It is also about an era when there was tension between the two countries and during that time a Kashmiri woman married a Pakistani major,” Kaushal told PTI.
“(It is about) how they make choices at the crossroads of duties and emotions, which will not only affect their lives but also the future of their respective countries,” he adds.
The 29-year-old actor says the period thriller, directed by Meghna Gulzar, does not glorify or demonise any of the countries. “It is not a hero-villain story. It is not about my country is good and yours is evil. Both countries are doing their jobs. They (the men in uniform) know they belong to this country or another one. They are supposed to perform their duty – that is how they are trained.”
“I wasn’t worried that I am playing a Pakistani, so it should be shown in a certain light. I think the story does the work. People will realise it is not an India-Pakistan war film,” he says. Kaushal, who has been paired opposite Bhatt for the first time, says he has been an admirer of the actor’s work.
“Alia is one of the most amazing actors we have today. She is a spontaneous, organic and a versatile performer. As an actor, I felt good and motivated working with her,” he says.
The story is based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat and Kaushal says the director just gave him the gist of the story and instructed him not to read the novel.
“Meghna said the script is a part of the book and not the entire book. The book is widespread and there are lot of other things that are going on. It is still the same story but it is just a part of it. She wanted me to consider the script as the Bible. My source for all kinds of research was Meghna and the script,” he says.
Raazi opens in theatres on May 11.