Relationships are complicated. Love is a battle within. To be or not to be in a relationship is the question. And for director Mani Ratnam, conflict-torn regions or a war provide a perfect backdrop to narrate an unconditional and larger-than-life love story. His latest directorial outing Kaatru Veliyidai is set in the backdrop of Kargil war. The male protagonist played by Karthi is a prisoner of war in Pakistan and he escapes from the highly-guarded prison, with his new friends, unscathed.
The scene was ridiculed by a few reviewers as unrealistic. But, the director begs to differ. The filmmakers have claimed that the scene was inspired by a real-life escape of an Indian Air Force officer, who was held at a PoW camp.
A statement issued by Madras Talkies reads “KaatruVeliyidai is running in theaters successfully. There is a sequence in the film where the Indian prisoners Karthi and his two friends escape from Pakistan Prison and their Army Men. Some online reviewers are quizzing about the authenticity of this sequence. So, here is the true story behind this sequence.”
According to the filmmakers, the scene was borrowed from a book, which recounted the great escape of Flight Lieutenant Dilip Parulkar and his fellow men. “On 10th Dec 1971, Flight Lieutenant Dilip Parulkar was shot down over Pakistan. He quickly turned that catastrophe into the greatest adventure of his life. On 13 August 1972 Parulkar, along with Malvinder Singh Grewal and Harish Sinhji escaped from a POW camp in Rawalpindi. Faith Jonhston’s ‘Four Miles To Freedom’ captures their story,” the statement added.
“Kaatru Veliyidai/ Cheliyaa retraces their path and converts the adventure into a grand cinematic experience when Officer VC and his two friends escape from the clutches of Pakistan army,” the filmmakers said.
So that should settle the debate. Kaatru Veliyidai released last week to polarised reactions from the fans and media alike. While some celebrated the film to be a visual and emotional treat, many had written it off. Kaatru Veliyidai was one of the highly expected romantic films this year, which marked the comeback of Bollywood actor Aditi Rao Hydari in Tamil after a long time.