At Mumbai’s G5A Foundation, Shanker Rahman’s thriller Gurgaon saw a full house at the film screening hosted by The Indian Express Film Club. While Shubhra Gupta, The Indian Express film critic, helmed the conversations for the evening, actors from the film — Akshay Oberoi and Ragini Khanna — interacted with the audience, and answered questions.
“The film speaks about how lands get colonised by people and the kind of price we pay for it. Human beings are a greedy bunch and more often than not we act out of greed and not need as is shown in this film,” said Gupta, “When you step out of the Delhi and get into Haryana, what you see are these tall buildings and swanky farmhouses. They are all sitting on land that was once forest and water that had animals.”
The film, that was released last year, has Pankaj Tripathi as the protagonist is Kehri Singh. A real estate tycoon, he considers his adopted daughter his lucky charm. The menace of patriarchy is shown where Tripathi kills his newborn daughter. Later, on the advice of a sage, he adopts a female child, Preeti Singh (played by Khanna), to achieve success. Oberoi, who plays Nikki Singh, is a boxer and the errant son of Kehri. He loses a bet and kidnaps his sister to repay his debt.
“The film’s end is something I think about so much,” said Gupta, “I have had people say it is a depressing film as it leads us into paths that we don’t necessarily want to travel. It is a difficult watch.” Speaking of the climax of the film, where Karma Devi, who plays Singh’s wife uncharacteristically kills her son, Khanna said, “The climax of the film was special. We changed the script to include that scene because that’s the karmic justice of this boy.”
Talking about how the point of the film was about ‘what goes around, comes around’, Oberoi said, “The son wants to prove his father wrong throughout the film. I like that the mother kills him, because it is the first and only time she puts her foot down. She saw her husband become a monster and can’t see the son becoming that, too.”