31st October trailer highlights Sikh family's plight

Trailer of Vir Das and Soha Ali Khan-starrer recounts the horror of one Sikh family in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination.

Mayur Lookhar

Tragedy is not always limited to one dark episode, and ramifications often spread like wildfire. India witnessed horror scenes in 1984 after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her own bodyguards, who happened to be from the Sikh community. The incident triggered a wave of hatred and violence against the Sikh community. The 1984 Indira Gandhi assassination and the subsequent riots remain a blot in the country’s history. 

In a first-of-its-kind in Hindi films, we are set to witness a film based on the horror of one Sikh family in the aftermath of the 1984 Sikh riots. National Award-winning director Shivaji Lotan Patil, of Dhag (Marathi) fame, steps into Hindi cinema with a film that is bound to create controversy.

Vir Das plays Sardar Davinder Singh who wants to save his family from a mob. Soha Ali Khan plays his wife Tajinder. Known for his funny bone, Das is a surprise choice for this intense role. It may be recalled that certain Sikh groups took offence to his portrayal as a Sikh in Santa Banta Pvt Ltd (2016).

What is likely to work in the film’s favour is its intense content. Another intriguing character in the film is Pal, played by Deepraj Rana. Those familiar with history will remember how former Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and his party had vehemently backed and even sheltered the Sikh community in Maharasthra and other parts of the country. As seen from the trailer, Pal’s character appears to be inspired by the Shiv Sainiks.

31st October was officially screened at the London Film Festival in July this year. The film is slated to release on 7 October this year.