Sucheta Dalal :Bollywood divided over capturing 26/11 on film
Sucheta Dalal

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Bollywood divided over capturing 26/11 on film  

November 25, 2009


A year after the country's entertainment capital witnessed one of the worst-ever terror attacks, Bollywood is still divided over whether it is the right time to bring alive the 26/11 carnage on the silver screen, reports PTI.
Though around 10 film titles revolving around the tragedy have been registered and a couple of low-budget movies are ready for release, mainstream filmmakers have chosen to stay away from the issue after noted director Ram Gopal Varma's 'terror tourism' episode, which got him much flak and cost the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh his chair.
Filmmaker Rensil D'silva, whose debut movie Kurbaan recently hit the screens, said that it is too early to explore the subject as the audience is not ready for it.
"Not anytime soon. The wounds are yet to heal. We should wait for at least three-four years before embarking on a film on the subject. Hollywood made films on the 9/11 terror attacks but these films were made just four years ago, a few years after the tragedy," said D'silva, who directed the Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer with terror in the backdrop, in an answer to PTI.
"Besides, whatever details we have is just about 40% of the facts of the attacks, barely enough to portray a tragedy of such magnitude as 26/11," he added.
However, industry veteran Gulshan Grover does not subscribe to D'silva's views and said that "there is nothing like a proper time to tell a story. There are many people around the world who are curious to know what happened on 26/11”.
"As long as the story is authentic and sincere and the film fraternity is not looking to just commercially exploit the subject, I see no problem why a movie (on the subject) should not be made," Mr Grover said.
Actor-filmmaker Anant Mahadevan, who is ready with his next release Red Alert, with a Naxal setting, reasoned that the Indian film industry does not have enough means to deal with the subject, which is why it is not willing to take a risk.
"It is not possible to recreate the Taj Hotel... Where would you create the inferno? Where is the budget? Besides, what we have is only a superficial idea of what happened and no one has tried to go down deep into the issue. Inadequacy of research and budget have restrained the industry," he said.
"What we can do is to take one particular human angle. For instance, the case of the fisherwoman (Anita Uddaiya), who claimed to have seen the terrorists landing on the sea shore and was allegedly whisked off by the FBI, and other stories of human courage and give them an investigative touch," he said.
"Did she know too much? Is she hiding something? Does the FBI know something which it is hiding from us? That may be a story I would like to explore," the director of Dil Vil Pyar Vyar and Dil Mange More said.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said that real-life incidents inspire filmmakers as the common man identifies with them.

Movies that have been made on real-life incidents include Anurag Kashyup's Black Friday (2004), based on the 1993 serial blasts, Apoorva Lakhia's Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007) on a 1991 underworld encounter, and Nishikant Kamat's Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008) on the serial train blasts of 7 July 2006.
–Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]

-- Sucheta Dalal