Making 'Sam Bahadur' was a life-altering experience: Meghna Gulzar

Making 'Sam Bahadur' was a life-altering experience: Meghna Gulzar

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Filmmaker Meghna Gulzar said on Tuesday that working on  'Sam Bahadur', the upcoming biographical drama film on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, turned out to be a life-changing experience for her.

Gulzar, the director of critically-acclaimed titles like 'Filhaal', 'Talvar' and 'Chhapaak', has reunited with actor Vicky Kaushal to tell the story of one of the greatest icons of Indian armed forces.

The film's trailer was launched here at the Manekshaw Centre in presence of Army Chief General Manoj Pande. Kaushal as well as co-actors Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh and producer Ronnie Screwvala also attended the event.

Gulzar said Manekshaw's life story should be shared with audiences as it is 'motivating and inspiring'.

'I believe that ideals and role models are timeless. If someone has lived his life with truth, righteousness and integrity, then that can never go out of style and out of time. The story of such a personality should be known to people of all generations. There is so much about him that is so inspiring and motivating,' the filmmaker said.

'It has been a life altering experience for me to make this movie about his life, his principles. I think all of us have subconsciously imbibed a lot of him and if there's even a slight impact on the audience, then that's good because I believe they don't make men like him anymore,' she added.

'Sam Bahadur' will span Manekshaw's career of over 40 years, including significant milestones, from fighting in World War II to being the Chief of Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, that led to the creation of Bangladesh, according to the makers.

Gulzar said it was a challenge to tell Manekshaw's life story in feature length project.

'His military life has spanned four decades and there's so much in those 40 years. And there is so much greed in me as a filmmaker that I don't want to leave anything out. But I have to tell a story in this much time and so you try to pick the things that you feel are more important. You also don't want to lose out on smaller things, so you interweave them all together,' she added.

But more than the anecdotal part of Manekshaw's life, Gulzar said she wanted to capture the spirit of the man behind the uniform.

'It was most important for us to get his spirit right. Physicality and data are doable but to get a man's spirit right was of prime importance for all of us and we focussed on it more than anything,' she said.

Kaushal, who starred in Gulzar's 2018 critical and commercial hit 'Raazi', was the first choice for the titular part, the filmmaker said.

'I picked up the phone and called Vicky the minute I had the script in my hand. I go by instinct and we had this conversation, I asked him 'will you do this?' and he was like, 'Of course I will do this.' I asked him to read the script but he didn't want to read it. But we both agreed that we need to do some kind of look test to see whether this would all come together or not,' she added.

Gulzar said they both agreed on avoiding prosthetics to get the look right.

'We both were aware that we don't want to get into prosthetics and all. We wanted to keep it as real as possible. And then three months later, we put together this look test. After that there was comfort in both of us. Inside me, I believed that my gut was right and he was on board,' she said.

On reuniting with the actor, Gulzar said they have a better understanding of each other now.

'I have to tell him less now. He gets what I'm trying to say. If I ask him to do something differently, I don't have to complete my sentence. And I think that comes from a much closer understanding of each other,' she added.

Produced by RSVP Movies, “Sam Bahadur” also stars Sanya Malhotra as Manekshaw’s wife Silloo and Fatima Sana Shaikh as former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

The script has been penned by Bhavani Iyer, Shantanu Shrivastava and Gulzar. The movie is scheduled to be released in theatres on December 1. PTI RB RB SHD SHD

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

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