After making movies like Fashion and Heroine, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar is now coming up with a political drama, Indu Sarkar, which is set in the times of Emergency period in 1975-1977 during the regime of former prime minster Indira Gandhi.
Recently, the filmmaker was annoyed at the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as the committee suggested 14 cuts in order to certify Indu Sarkar.
Madhur Bhandarkar has always been vocal about his views.
In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, India, he talked about what made him choose a subject like Indu Sarkar and how he moulded it into a movie.
Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:
IBT: Indu Sarkar is set against a political backdrop and it deals with 1975's Emergency period. What made you choose such a subject?
Bhandarkar: I like making films that are hard hitting and realistic. By chance, I was going through a documentary on Emergency and realised how today's generation has no clue about what happened back then. I myself have no memory of Emergency. My writer Anil Pande came with this story of an under confident girl who gains confidence pushed by circumstances. I liked the subject and we started doing research on that dark era and that's how the film shaped up.
IBT: What exactly have you tried to portray in the film?
Bhandarkar: It's a journey of a girl. The fictional story revolves around Indu, the protagonist who is an orphan. How she gains confidence, becomes a rebellion. It also shows clash of ideologies between Indu (Kirti Kulhari) and her husband Naveen Sarkar ( Tota Roy Chaudhary).
IBT: Is it based on a real character?
Bhandarkar: No. It is a fictional story, just the backdrop is of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi government. Those few incidents are inspired by true events happened during Emergency. Having said that the film is not a documentary on Emergency.
IBT: What kind of research/ homework have you done before finalising the film?
Bhandarkar: We did a lot of research. I didn't want to distort historical facts. I and my writer Anil Pandey visited Teen Murti Bhawan, which is the former residence of Jawaharlal Nehru Ji. We also met people of that era who actually witnessed that period and were a part of it. I read books on Emergency, watched documentaries. We also travelled to various cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow to collect accessories and equipment existing in 70s such as radios, phones and postcards etc.
IBT: Congress party calls it a sponsored movie. How will you respond to it?
Bhandarkar: All these claims make no sense at all. Can anyone prove these allegations? If it was sponsored, I would have made a biopic on Indira Gandhi. Also, they are saying all this on basis of a trailer. I would like to request them to see the film and then talk.
IBT: What are the lessons Indians learnt from Emergency and what needs to be learnt yet?
Bhandarkar: Well, I don't know about lessons but I certainly believe in awareness. I don't know who learns what but I most definitely believe that Indians should be aware of anything significant that happens or has happened in their country.
IBT: Today's generation is not much aware of Emergency. Are you confident that audience will watch a serious film like this?
Bhandarkar: If it is a good film, people will like it, else they will reject. It is not about serious or non-serious film. If it connects with you, you will enjoy it.
IBT: Ajay Devgn's Baadshaho deals with the same subject of 1975 Emergency, what's your say?
Bhandarkar: I cannot comment on this because honestly, I don't know the details of it.